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Karate gets nod to bid for Commonwealth tourney

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Green light: Karate has been allowed to bid for the Commonwealth Championships PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) has given the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) the green light to bid for the 2024 Commonwealth Karate Championships.

Karate had shown interest in bidding for the event, but had to receive backing from the BNSC.

According to a letter written by BNSC acting games director, Boitumelo Moagi, the provisions are that the International Games and Events Hosting Committee (IGEHC) would work with BOKA to review and validate the budget and business model for the event.

“The IGEHC would work with BOKA to review and appoint the Local Organising Committee (LOC) with a requirement for an endorsement by the BNSC board. The IGEHC would have oversight on the games and LOC on behalf of the board. BOKA to be led by the sport development committee on Team Botswana preparation and competition,” reads the letter.

BOKA president, Tshepho Bathai told Mmegi Sport that hosting the competition would require P5 million and preparing Team Botswana would cost P3 million.

“We are putting together a sponsorship team that would augment the Botswana Karate Foundation (BOKA official fund raising arm) to start

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looking for funds and in-kind sponsorships,” Bathai said.

He added getting the nod to bid for the tournament means a lot to the development of karate in the country.

“It should be noted this approval also comes with a four-year Team Botswana preparation plan. We are also going to train our technical personnel, especially referees. We are required to have at least 18 World Karate Federation (WKF) and Union of African Karate Federations (UFAK) qualified referees out of the 72 that are required,” he said.

Bathai said BOKA would be procuring new tournament and training equipment and there would also be infrastructure development at the headquarters. BOKA goes for elections next year and Bathai said in the event he is voted out, he would be present in his capacity as a Commonwealth Karate Federation (CKF) executive committee member.

Bathai said before the Commonwealth championship event, the CKF executive committee would have a week-long strategy meeting in Botswana.



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