No incentives for karate team

All for nothing: Karatekas will not benefit from the incentives policy PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
All for nothing: Karatekas will not benefit from the incentives policy PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Karate national teams will not receive incentives for winning medals and there will not be appearance fees for their participation in three international competitions.

Karate participated in the Region 5 Karate Championships, the 2022 Africa Karate Championships (UFAK), and the Commonwealth Karate Championships. According to information reaching MmegiSport, the team has only received allowances for two competitions. “It seems like the number of countries at UFAK did not match the requirements set by the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC). Even at the Region 5 Karate Championships held in Zimbabwe, fewer countries were participating,” a source said. The source said that means karatekas will struggle to receive incentives under government's incentive policy, which outlines the terms and conditions of deserving recipients. One athlete who was part of the team, Oratile Caiphus confirmed that they have not been paid incentives and appearance fees for the Region 5 competition. “For the UFAK, we did not receive appearance fees and incentives. We also did not receive camp allowance, appearance fees, or incentives from the Commonwealth. The only allowance we received was camp allowance for the UFAK. I heard claims that we would not get paid for the Commonwealth because it was a self-sponsored trip. Maybe it was just a way to frustrate us further,” he said.

Another karateka, Thebe Duna said they have given up on the allowances. He said the situation is upsetting and frustrating because they spend a lot and pay for trips to attend tournaments but they do not get any incentive or reward. “Being in the national team is no longer exciting. Some of us intend to quit because we do not benefit from anything,” Duna said. For his part, Quinton Mosupiemang said the situation is not good for the sport. “We are doing a lot for this country, but we are not rewarded. Other sporting codes get better treatment than us and karate is one of the best-performing codes,” he said. Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) president, Mpho Bakwadi said it is unfortunate the team did not get paid. “At Region 5, there were seven countries and that is below the BNSC requirement. Incentives are only paid if there are eight countries at such competitions,” he said.

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