Francistown — Twelve-year-old Kelebonye Otela lives and walks the vision to take athletics as her sporting code to greater heights.
The Sekondomboro athlete was among the participants who represented the country in the just ended Confederation of School Sport Association of Southern Africa (COSSASA) Athletic Championship held in the City of Francistown. She contested in the female Under 13 category where she took part in the 100m race, 200m and the 4X100m relay.
In the 100m race, Otela finished on third position while in the 200m race, she emerged as the champion, breaking the record by clocking a time of 20:68 seconds.
Otela also did exceptionally well in the 4X100m relay when she picked up her team mates to finish first; hence becoming the 4X100m relay Under 13 female champions.
She was therefore awarded the best female Under 13 award together with an overall award winner. Speaking in an interview with BOPA after receiving the awards, Otela expressed happiness saying she came to represent the country well with good results. The youngster explained that the awards would positively motivate her to aim higher so as to maintain or even go an extra mile in her performance.
As such, she vowed to continue performing outstandingly despite the challenges she could face in her sporting code."I am proud of myself to have been selected for such a big responsibility to represent Botswana for the 2018 COSASSA athletic games," she said noting that such an honour was an indication that her abilities and capabilities are recognized.
Otela explained that her selection came after she excelled in the regional athletic competitions to the extent that she was nominated for the Botswana Primary School Sports Association (BOPSSA). The young athlete further explained that her talent was discovered and nurtured when she was doing Standard Four.
Though it was her first time to take part in the COSASSA games, she highlighted that she was not afraid and such spirit helped her to be bold enough not to panic as she met her competitors.
She had the desire to be among the shining stars and indeed she was among them. Furthermore, Otela explained that she was well trained and urged to be strong enough by his coach Meleko Ndolo and also supported and encouraged by her relatives.
The Standard Six pupil dreams to walk in the footsteps of some other sporting icons such as Amantle Montsho and Christine Botlogetswe who continue to shine and represent the country well internationally.
"My role model is Amantle Montsho and I want to be like her; she is my inspiration in athletics," said Otela optimistically.
The ambitious athlete maintained that for one to succeed in their aspirations they need to be patient, committed and persevere.
Interestingly, she said her participation in sports does not disturb her academic performance as she says she also excels academically.
"I balance well my time of training and the time for school work and both of them do not clash," she pointed out.
North West Team Development and Regional coach Ndolo expressed satisfaction with Otela's performance noting that she represented the country well.
He described her as a hardworking, result oriented and ambitious individual who is trustworthy and explained that her performance was what they expected from her.
He added that the young athlete showed commitment in her athletics since she devoted her time and energy during the preparations for the past games.
The coach advised Otela to refrain from unbecoming behaviour as this could pose a negative impact in her attaining her ambitions.
He reminded the athlete to be careful in terms of what she eats, explaining that as an athlete, it is important to practice healthy eating to sustain her talent.
Ndolo shared as a development coach, he is determined to groom aspiring individuals in the world of sport despite the challenges of lack of resources.
He explained that sport is no longer only about entertainment but a viable career opportunity that one could earn a living out of.
He explained that he is passionate and determined to catch the youngsters at tender age as this will help them grow knowing the importance of sports in their lives.
Source : BOPA