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Botswana women bikers commence 5-day Women Riders World Relay across the country

GABORONE, Botswana, January 2020/ — The Botswana Lady Riders – a collective of women bikers in Botswana who are affiliated and/or non-affiliated to local Club will this weekend (12th – 16th January 2020) embark on an inspired ride of fulfilment aimed at sensitizing people about women bikers around the world.  Simply dubbed Women Riders World Relay (WRWR) on motorbikes, the latter involves women passing a baton via “legs” of countries across the world, for example: Manchester to London, London to Paris, and Paris to Pamplona.

WRWR is a global female biker relay, covering even the remote and vast parts of our world. This involves women passing a baton via “legs” of a journey across the world, for example: London to Paris, Paris to Berlin.

“We are coordinating women motorcycle riders across the world to participate in the “Women Riders World Relay”, bringing fun, experience, confidence and a sense of unity to women riders globally.

In Botswana, the relay consists of eight (8) women riding from Gaborone to Buitepos, Namibia to collect the baton and continue to Ramokgwebana, Botswana, where they will meet with the Zimbabwean lady riders to hand over the baton. 

“WRWR was conceptualized and founded by Hayley Bell in Scotland on the 27th August 2018.  Within 4 months, 14, 000 (fourteen thousand) women had registered to become members.  The relay officially began in February 2019 when they embarked on this ride from point A to point B, to hand over a baton.  The objective of the relay is not only about handing over the baton but educating, sensitizing & empowering the different nations on women riders across the globe.  It is also an effort to connect all the women riders across the globe to make the world a smaller, friendly place,” said WRWR – Botswana Guardian, Keletso Bogatsu. 

WRWR Botswana Guardian, Keletso Bogatsu (C)

As a guardian, Bogatsu is expected to, “carry and protect the baton as a group. We will be passing a baton from rider to rider all the way around the world, and we want to make sure it’s in safe hands. Guardians will carry the Baton for a full day’s ride from start to finish. This may include stops and/or events. There may also be more than one guardian per leg. In fact, we encourage as many people to sign up as possible, but it only takes one to get the job done. All costs associated with the days ride are the responsibility of the guardian, including but not limited to gas, food, lodging, border crossing, and ferry.”

Bogatsu added that in Botswana, they have identified three key areas that they would like to incorporate into the relay, namely; Promote sports tourism, “We believe this is an opportunity to showcase our country to the world of women riders and any other rider across the globe; Promote rider safety/motorist safety, “Rider safety is key in every ride we take be it a short or long distance ride.  We as women riders across Botswana have taken it upon ourselves to ensure on our safety, educate and sensitize the public on the importance of road safety; and lastly; Promote riding as a sport and mode of transport option, “We have found it necessary to promote riding as a decent sport to the nation to eliminate the perception associated with riders as hooligans.”

Colette Howie

Furthermore, Bogatsu noted that the WRWR – Botswana edition aims to encourage as many women to participate in the sport as ultimately it can be used as an alternative mode of transportation as more and more people buy motor vehicles and the roads become more and more congested. 

Keletso Bogatsu

Botswana ladies among others include Keletso Bogatsu, Rebecca Nkalanga, Tebogo Ferguson-Mokobi, Tshepho Thedi, Mathabo Ngwako, Kefilwe Kaylo Sweetie Lobelo, Ogone Madisa-Kgwarae and Boitumelo Mogopa; and will leave Gaborone to Kang on Sunday, 12 January 2020 with pit stops in Jwaneng and Mabutsane, before proceeding to Buitepos, Namibia, and ultimately Zimbabwe before coming back to Gaborone .

Boitumelo Mogopa

“I started riding in 2015, the whole experience terrified but thrilled me at first, but I was lucky to have a very patient instructor who walked the journey with me. I was introduced to riding by my friend, the late Abo, who also helped me choose my first bike, The Harley Davidson 883 Iron. My name is Boitumelo Mogopa, aka Boi. When I am on my bike , I feel absolutely free , I face my fears, I feel like I can take on and change the world. My girls and I are ready to join WRWR 2020, Botswana leg in January. I will be joining some of the lady riders , on a historic ride around the country , picking the baton from Namibia to Zimbabwe , in 5 days .Routes as follows:12th Jan – Gaborone to Kang13th Jan – Kang to Buitepos14th Jan – Buitepos to Maun15th Jan – Maun (Rest day)16th Jan – Maun to Ramokgwebana to Francistown17th Jan – Francistown – Gaborone; Total #2950km in #5days,” said Boitumelo Mogopa via social media.

Sweetie Lobelo

Powered by the WRWR vision, to be the global “eye-openers” of women in Motorsports, the relay encourages women riders to be adventurous, be courageous, be inspiring and be united. WRWR launched a Facebook Group in August 2018 to coordinate women riders across the world to take part in the relay.

My name is Tebogo Ferguson-Mokobi aka Mtabo. I started riding in 2013 with my maiden, Sandy.

“When we celebrated our 1 month anniversary, the group reached a massive milestone of 10K members from 80 countries. We are now over 14,000 women from over 90 countries and the group has blossomed into something much more than we expected. Visit our Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/WRWRgroup.”

My name is Rebecca Nkalanga AKA “First Lady” as popularly known among the biking community in Botswana. I fell in love with biking in 2016.

See below the WRWR country schedule:
Country Schedule
Feb 2019: Scotland
March 2019: Ireland, Wales, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro
April 2019: Albania, Macedonia (FYROM), Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands
May 2019: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania
June 2019: Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan
July 2019: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos
August 2019: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia
September 2019: New Zealand, Japan, Canada
October 2019: USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
November 2019: Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay
December 2019: Paraguay, Brazil, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana
January 2020: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Oman, UAE

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