The North West District Council (NWDC) has adopted a motion by Boseja South Councilor, Itumeleng Kelebetseng requesting for the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture to rename Maun Sports Complex after the retired world champion and Olympian, Amantle Montsho.
The councilors unanimously agreed that government should name the facility ‘Amantle Montsho Sports Complex’ to honour the Maun native for her remarkable achievements in athletics.
The mover of the motion, Kelebetseng who is also NWDC Chairman said he saw it befitting for Maun and Botswana at large to honour the celebrated former 400m sprinter who bagged dozens of medals for the country in highly competitive international races.
Among her many other successes, Montsho who was the first woman to represent Botswana at the Olympics is also former World Gold medalist and World Championship Silver medalist.
Kelebetseng said he has engaged with the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) among other relevant authorities about the proposal who are also in agreement that the honour was long overdue. In fact, he said the authorities have indicated that the motion having been passed through council will ease their work for the highly decorated athlete to be appreciated. Kelebetseng further indicated that he has also spoken to Montsho herself and she has approved the proposal.
The chairman said it has proven that during her time, Montsho did not remain stagnant but progressed very well garnering various gold, silver and bronze medals on international stage.
He stated that a minor setback of Montsho having been previously suspended should not overshadow her accomplishments. The former 400m World Champion was in 2014 suspended from competition for a two-year period after testing positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Kelebetseng stressed that this should not be treated as if she used an illegal drug to boost herself but it must be understood that she was recommend the said methylhexaneamine by her medical doctor after reporting unwell.
Kelebetseng added that he will also lobby for the stadium to be maintained to the level suiting the one-time World Champion. The chairman noted that he will also request for the proposed new stadium in Maun to also be named after one of the local icons as it is rightful for them to also be celebrated.
Kelebetseng cleared up the misconception that renaming of such facilities is only done in remembrance of people who are late but he highlighted that there many other facilities such as the Obert Itani Chilume Stadium which have been renamed after icons that are still alive. An effort to confirm Montsho’s response about the proposal was not successful as her phone ran unanswered.