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BOKA dojo misses out on UFAK

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
The BOKA dojo will not host any UFAK action PIC: KARABO KGOSI
Extension works to the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) dojo are behind schedule, which have ruled out the facility from hosting the Africa Karate Championship (UFAK), which starts in Gaborone next Friday.

BOKA received a donation of $84,969 (around P900, 000) from the Japanese Embassy for the hall extension last year.

The hall was expected to be used for the championship, but now visiting countries will train at the University of Botswana (UB). BOKA president, Tshepho Bathai said the project should be completed next week but they had already sought other alternatives. Instead, the venue will be utilised by the Botswana team for training. Bathai said the project is one month behind schedule. “All visiting teams would be using five training facilities set at the athletes village at the UB,” he said. The project started May last year and was supposed to be complete within 12 months.

Bathai said it is unfortunate that the project is behind schedule.

“It is not a good thing, especially where there are contractual misunderstandings. It is difficult to deal with it without the court. However, we have finalised everything and there is progress,” Bathai said.

Meanwhile, BOKA made a last minute decision when they organised a training camp for the junior team this weekend. The senior team has been in camp for this week in Bloemfontein. Initially, the training camp request was turned down, as it was deemed to be at short notice.

According to information reaching this publication, BOKA executive had a meeting on Wednesday and agreed that the junior team goes into camp.

The junior team coach,

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George Tshikare said he was disappointed by how events were unfolding. He said it appears as if his team was not part of UFAK. “BOKA did not see that it was important for the team to go into camp. They are just treating us like second-rate citizens. The junior team is the future and deserves the same treatment like their seniors. We should not be seen as beggars,” he said.

Bathai said the junior team is made up of students who are writing school examinations.  He said the junior team would go into camp today (Friday).

Meanwhile, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson, Edwin Dikoloti said 25 countries have confirmed participation. “Some countries such as DRC are on their way, coming by road. We are also expecting Ivory Coast to arrive today. They were forced to come early because of flight schedules,” he said.

Dikoloti said the athletes’ village is ready with 500 beds. He said 1,200 athletes and officials are expected to attend the championship. He said all the action takes place at the UB sport arena.

When asked how much they are paying for the venue, Dikoloti just said it was a good offer. “UB has absorbed some costs because they gave us some days for free, especially that we have a coaches course at the venue, but we are not paying for those days,” he said.



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