Gaborone — Former national team 400m star, Onkabetse Nkobolo will enjoy a stipend of P2 000 monthly for a period of 12 months, courtesy of Orapa athletics cubs through its annual flagship event, Orapa Half Marathon.
Speaking at the launch of the Orapa Half Marathon in Gaborone on Monday, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Beauty Manake said the monthly stipend would go towards engaging a caretaker for the former athlete, who is wheelchair-bound after a car accident in 2019.
She indicated that additional work of benevolence by the club included the current housing of 17 young and upcoming athletes in the Boteti region who needed financial support, and that through the proceeds from the marathon, the club has committed five per cent of the project profit for this course.
“Likewise, the business community should see the value of this project and be encouraged to support such initiatives. To offer themselves up to donate to and sponsor such events and identify promising athletes that may be unearthed as a result,” she said.
Manake also said the marathon would come in handy in ensuring that Boteti region continued to unearth talent and continuously support the increasing participation of both the young and adult in sports.
“The region has produced some of the country’s best sportsmen and women such as Nigel Amos and Baboloki Thebe who are products of Orapa Athletics Club. This event is paramount in unearthing hidden talents that have by far not been cultivated due to lack of such programs,” she said.
Manake also encouraged the business community to take advantage of events such as the Orapa Half Marathon to boost their image and grow their businesses.
On the event itself, Manake said that it would not only sell Boteti west region as a sports tourism destination of choice, but also benefit the region in line with health and wellness goals that would boost its economic state.
Manake also hailed the organisers for their build-up activities, indicating that such would benefit the community economically prior to the main event.
Still at the event, Manake also announced that former IAAF champion and Olympian, Amantle Montsho was made the brand ambassador of this year’s event alongside former soccer star, Diphetogo Selolwane.
The marathon will be held in Orapa on November 25 at Itekeng Stadium.