Thuto keen to see martial arts unite

Preaching unity: Thuto PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Preaching unity: Thuto PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Shihan Thuto Thuto is a worried man. There is a visible desire in his eyes to see a sport close to his heart, martial arts, flourish under one umbrella.

Thuto has already made the first steps after setting up the Botswana All Budo Styles Association (BABUSA). Thuto was at the forefront of the formation of Hayashi Ha and Kufukan and is a former Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) vice president. “BOKA panics when I talk about this, thinking we want to swallow them. BABUSA is not my personal property. The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) has requested us to talk to BOKA,” he said. Thuto said looking for sponsorship for BABUSA is a challenge because some organisations have a policy that they cannot sponsor martial arts as it is considered a violent sport. “You find that most companies operating here are from outside and as a country, we must challenge such policies. It is our athletes who suffer at the end of the day. However, I do not blame such companies, it is how things stand at the moment,” he said.

Thuto said other companies always ask if BABUSA is recognised by the BNSC. Thuto said they want to affiliate with the BNSC for sport development and not for money. He said after affiliation, they will continue working hard. “Someone like Thapelo Mabeo does miracles in kung fu but he cannot represent his country. This is my fight that I want to see every child being part of martial arts,” he added. Thuto said BABUSA is not given the national flag when they travel outside the country as is the norm for other sport codes representing the nation. “When we go outside the country, we cannot be assisted by embassies in case anything happens to us. We are taking a risk by taking these children on trips,” he said. Thuto said the association is faced with financial challenges and they are even struggling to host BABUSA national championships this year, which have been postponed to next year. “We should host one national championship annually but it is difficult. We must be having kasho (training halls) in the southern and northern parts of the country. We should be sending a team to India. I should be travelling to Brazil and I should be hosting my chief instructor from France in September,” Thuto said.

Editor's Comment
Routine child vaccination imperative

The recent Vaccination Day in Motokwe, orchestrated through collaborative efforts between UNICEF, USAID, BRCS, and the Ministry of Health, underscores a commendable stride towards fortifying child health services.The painful reality as reflected by the Ministry of Health's data regarding the decline in routine immunisation coverage since the onset of the pandemic, is a cause for concern.It underscores the urgent need to address the...

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