2020 is emerging as the ‘year of women in chess’ with a record number of women defying the odds and putting their names up for election as executive members of their national chess federations.

With the Botswana Chess Federation, elective congress looming, seven females will be contesting for various posts during the elective congress this Saturday.

The current President Mr. Mothokomedi Thabane is not seeking re-election, leaving three candidates to contest for the post of President.

Two of the three candidates vying for the Presidency post are female Miss Kutlwano Jady Tatolo and Miss Mbo Mabedi.

Miss Cordeliah Makgatle will battle it out with two males for the Vice President post, whilst the Treasurer post will be contested by female only Miss Kgalalelo Botlhole and Mrs Masego Motlotle.

Miss Senate Lekomola and Miss Ontiretse Sabure will be contesting for the ratings and tournament director and development director posts respectively.

We recently caught up with one of the presidential candidates Miss Mbo Mabedi who is a former Batswana chess player and a mathematics teacher by profession.

Mabedi told us that during her playing days she encountered many challenges and hence she was contesting for the presidency post to bring a change.

“During my time as a player, I encountered many challenges, one of them is that I was based outside Gaborone and I had to travel long distances to attend and participate in chess events.”

She believes that her rich experience as a chess player will help her spread chess across the country to allow all Batswana to fulfil their dream of playing chess.

Once elected, Mbo said she will ensure that chess is developed from grassroots, junior and senior levels and will ensure that the player’s welfare comes first.

On contesting for the presidency with another woman, Mbo said she is excited that women are claiming their space and believes that women should not be given an opportunity just because their women but because of their strength, capabilities, qualities, character, and skills.

When it comes to sponsorship and stakeholder management Mbo told us that she will seek new sponsors for chess and has guaranteed transparency and publicity. She will also ensured fans that her leadership will host International events under the auspices of ACC and FIDE, as well as friendly tournaments.

Arbiters and chess organizers will also get to attend seminars and conferences that will help them develop and grow their profiles. She believes that her experience as a teacher and volunteer in a non governmental organisation has given her the opportunity to learn, inspire and motivate teams, ensuring accountability and contributing to development of chess.

If elected as Botswana Chess Federation President tomorrow, Mbo Mabedi or Kutwano Tatolo will become the first female President of the Botswana Chess Federation.

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