Parents are up in arms after they were asked to contribute P7,500 each for their children's trip to Durban, South Africa for the Region 5 Karate Championships. It is the first time in 30 years that athletes have been asked to fund the trip.
But fuming parents have accused the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) of ignoring their pleas and not taking karate seriously.
According to a source, some parents from Palapye have asked Boyce Sebetela, the chief of staff in the Office of the President to intervene.
Some parents took to social media to request contributions to enable their children to travel. According to information reaching this publication, the budget for Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) stands at P450,000 to cater for 66 athletes. The competition takes place between May 27 and 29 in Durban.
"Now that the BNSC is not assisting BOKA, each athlete has been requested to contribute P7,500 for the trip, which covers transport, accommodation, meals, and participation fees,” a source said.
According to a letter from BNSC, the commission cannot afford to fund the team.
“The BNSC would like to inform BOKA that the secretariat cannot accede to your request as we are currently awaiting the 2022–2023 financial year government subvention from the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC),” the letter reads in part.
BOKA president, Tshepho Bathai told Mmegi Sport that they had no choice but to request athletes to contribute to the trip while they are engaging the government and other stakeholders.
“The BNSC has been sponsoring this competition that is held every May for more than 30 years. Of course, the situation is likely to affect the performance of the athletes because they are now concentrating on finding funds than training. Parents are frustrated, angry, and confused,” he said.