Fresh from his Dakar Rally 2024 triumph in Saudi Arabia in January, Botswana’s most celebrated motorsport superstar Ross Branch has hinted that preparations for the Dakar Rally 2025 will resume effectively. Not anyhow complacent of his achievement in the 2024 edition where he finished overall silver medalist, becoming the first Motswana to do so and the best in Africa for this year, Branch remains optimistic of winning the most cruelling race in the world of motorsport in the future.
In his heroic welcome organised by the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport, Culture (MYSC) in collaboration with the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) where they hosted an appreciation dinner for Branch’s achievement at the just ended 2024 Dakar Rally. The ever smiling Branch was on his element, describing the love, gratitude and support Batswana have shown him since starting the Dakar Rally journey in 2019 where in debut was voted the Rookie of the year.
When delivering the keynote address, Hon. Tumiso Rakgare commended Branch for his outstanding performance and for continually flying the Botswana flag high. Rakgare further said, “Branch is the first Motswana rider to achieve a podium finish at the Dakar Rally and for the 2024 Championship, he is recorded as the best African biker at the race. He further mentioned that the appreciation dinner was to celebrate greatness; a dream come true for Ross, his family, and indeed the entire nation of Botswana.
The jubilant Branch thanked the MYSC as well as Batswana for the continued support throughout the years. He also recognized his sponsors for the risk they took on his brand and his Team Hero MotoSports for always supporting him through challenges.
Meanwhile the Parliamentary Chairman on Youth, Sport, Arts and Culture Development, Hon. Tumisang Healey acknowledged Branch for the sterling performance displayed at the 2024 Dakar Rally. He further implored the private sector to participate in Botswana sport as a way of giving back to the community and the nation.
Branch received a cheque to the tune of P124, 000.00 being P100, 000.00 for attaining second position, P20, 000.00 for qualifying for the race and P4, 000.00 as the race appearance fee, in line with the athletes incentives policy set by the government of Botswana. Despite Lucara Botswana sponsoring the preparation for the next edition of Dakar Rally including registration of about P58, 000, the government will pop further P100, 000 for preparations of the 2025 Rally.
The event was also graced by the Deputy Permanent Secretary of MYSC, Mr. Tshepo Mophuting, BNSC Chairperson, Marumo Morule, BNOC President, Colonel Botsang Tshenyego, BNSC Chief Executive Officer Tuelo D. Serufho, Lucara Botswana Managing Director, Naseem Lahri, the Botswana Motorsport executive committee and the media.