The Monitor :: Karate Team In A Lurch After Trip Aborted
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Last Updated
Friday 25 May 2018, 14:11 pm.
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Karate Team In A Lurch After Trip Aborted

The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) has cancelled the karate national teamís trip to Spain at the 11th hour, due to lack of funds.
By Calistus Kolantsho Mon 23 Oct 2017, 14:25 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Karate Team In A Lurch After Trip Aborted








The team, comprising Thabang Setshego, Tlotlang Ponatshego, Wathuto Maake, and Gaone Mothoyomotona, with Sensei Christopher Ponatshego as the coach and Sensei Phineas Motseolapile, was due to leave this past Saturday. The team’s visas had already been processed but due to lack of funds, the trip was aborted.

Instead, only 16-year-old Muhammad Ali Hussein, who was not in the initial squad, travelled to Spain with coach, Ponatshego to compete in the World Cup.  Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) president, Sensei Tshepho Bathai told Monitor Sport that they were informed that funds from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had not been credited into the BNOC account.

“There are many stories surrounding the cancellation of the trip. Initially, we were told that the athletes we had selected, were older than the required age. In turn, we gave them the names of those who were within the required age bracket and their coach. They told us that they are processing. Today (Friday), Tuelo Serufho informed me that there is no money,” he said. Bathai said the athletes are in distress as a result of the decision taken by BNOC. He explained that the World Cup

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that the team was to compete in is a 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and the Japan 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.

“We had applied for funding for both competitions. All along we knew that both teams would be funded. Now, we only have a few athletes aged between 15-16 who cannot travel this time because of school examinations. We are now banking on the Under 21s to qualify for Japan 2020,” said a disappointed Bathai.

He said on Tuesday, they learnt that the IOC has only approved funds for the 2018 YOG.

BOKA public relations officer, Isaiah Ramontshonyane said the athletes arrived on Friday morning from Namibia where they had gone to process visas for the Spain trip. He said the development has crushed their morale. BNOC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho told Monitor Sport that they could only fund athletes who stand a chance to qualify for the 2018 Youth Olympics. He said as it stands, the BNOC does not have funds for a team that is seeking to qualify for Japan 2020. By the weekend, Serufho said the IOC grant was not yet in the BNOC account.

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