- Sports academic Dr Tshepang Tshube commends Orange for its support for the wing-footed athlete
Jubilation was palpable in Kanye as people gathered to welcome home their hero, Letsile Tebogo, straight from his stellar performances at the World Championships where he clinched two medals.
Amidst the jubilation, Dr Tshepang Tshube of the Sports Science Department at the University of Botswana, took a moment on the sidelines of the welcome ceremony to share his insights into Tebogo’s exceptional talent and the pivotal role that the private sector should play in shaping the future of sports in Botswana.
Tshube told Gazette Sports that Tebogo is a prime example of talent identification done right and emphasised the need for a concerted effort to develop the budding athlete.
Underlining the importance of creating an optimal environment for his growth, he asserted: “Tebogo was identified very well through available structures now it is now crucial that we provide the necessary support for him to reach and maintain his elite status.”
The outstanding sport academic stressed the significance of private sector involvement in sports, commending companies like Orange for their support for Tebogo. “The government alone is not enough,” he said.
“While the government creates policies and programmes, the private sector should step forward and play a more pivotal role to ensure that we have more athletes like Tebogo competing at the highest levels.”
Parallels with the US
Dr Tshube drew parallels with the United States where communities rally around their local athletes to create a strong sense of identity.
“When a college or high school team plays in the US, the whole town comes to watch,” he pointed out. “T-shirts bearing the school’s name are sold, building a community identity around the athletes.”
Drawing inspiration from this model, Dr Tshube called for Tebogo-branded merchandise like T-shirts to be made available for sale in Kanye. “This will help build a strong community identity around Tebogo, who not only represents the entire country but more profoundly his native Kanye,” he added.
Selabe and Kgabanyane families
Tebogo was honoured by the people of Kanye with gifts that included two cows in a gesture that symbolised the deep-rooted support and pride that his community feels about his achievements.
The cows, a Charolaise and Brahman, were presented to the wing-footed athlete by the Selabe and Kgabanyane families.