BNSC leaves BOKA high and dry

Left out: Bakwadi is among senior players who will not benefit from BNSC funds PIC: Thepressphoto
Left out: Bakwadi is among senior players who will not benefit from BNSC funds PIC: Thepressphoto

Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) has expressed disappointment over the Botswana National Sport Commission's (BNSC) decision not to fund two national teams for a regional trip. The senior and Under-21 national teams were excluded from funding to participate at the upcoming Karate Region 5 Games slated for Durban this weekend.

The team left yesterday and is expected back home on Monday. BNSC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho said they would support the Under-18 team to the tune of P200,000. “As the commission our focus is to facilitate robust development starting at youth level, building over a period of several years following pathways as defined by the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD),” he said. Serufho said it is only this way that they can be guaranteed of sustained future success in sport. Reacting to the decision, BOKA president, Tshepho Bathai said he was not even aware whether that is a policy going forward or not. “We intend to meet BNSC after this championship and map a way forward.

For now, they are not able to assist the senior national team including the Under-21 team,” said a disappointed Bathai. Members of the teams that have been excluded from funding are expected to contribute P7,500 for the trip. This is something that did not go well with athletes and some parents have since embarked on fundraising. Some of them have been fortunate to receive assistance from some companies. According to a source, the senior national team coach, Christopher Ponatshego has always believed in selecting Under-18 karatekas, something that he has been chided for. Speaking to Mmegi Sport, Ponatshego said he has always been attacked for preferring the youth over senior athletes. “I am happy with this development.

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