Out-going President of Botswana Chess Federation Honored

Report by: Keenese Katisenge (BCF PR-Director)

The out-going President of Botswana Chess Federation and FIDE Zone 4.3 President Mr. Tshepo Sitale was on Saturday 8th June 2013, awarded the 2012 Sports Administrator of the Year at the 33rd Botswana National Sports Council Awards held in GICC, Gaborone. The award is given to the administrator who have led a Sporting Code that has excelled and there is clear demonstration of accountability, attraction of sponsors, positive media coverage and grassroots development.

Mr. Sitale was commended for successfully leading the Federation to great heights in 2012. In the year, the Federation celebrated 30 years of existence with the slogan ’30 years of making smart moves’. This is attested by ‘Re Ba Bona Ha’ grassroots program (Re Ba Bona Ha is a Setswana phrase that means catch them when young), which is run in Gaborone West, a high-density populated area mostly comprising of low income earners. The program which is sponsored by Debswana and the Botswana National Sports Council is meant for kids aged 6 years to 13 years in the community and are assembled during the week to play chess.
BCF is one of the active Federations in Africa and shining example that there is progress in African Chess. The Federation hosted the reigning World Chess Champion, Mr. Viswanathan Anand in 2009. The federation has hosted various Zonal & Continental event and they have local tournaments in average of every 2 weeks. Chess is recognized as a sport in Botswana and the Federation receives funding from the Botswana National Sports Council and has various Sponsors from major companies in the likes of Debswana, Metropolitan and National Development Bank.

Administratively, the Federation is run in a democratic system and annual Congress are held where clubs and associate members are given opportunity to have input on the affairs of the Federation. The award winning administrator Mr. Tshepo Sitale has voluntarily stepped down in May 2013, after leading the Federation for over 5 years and Presidency has been assumed by the former Vice President Mr. Tshenolo Maruatona. The new Executive Committee led by Mr. Maruatona is to lead the Federation for the next 4 years.

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