Trouble brewing at BOKA

14th June 2017
DARK KIMITE: BOKA athletes Source:The Midweek Sun

Things are expected to get awry at the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA). Information reaching Sun Sports is that the highly trained combat sport athletes at BOKA are threatening to sabotage and possibly hurt one another in order to make it into the national team.

Following a successful campaign at the recent UFAK championship campain, the national Karate team will be heading to the eagerly anticipated 2017Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 tournament. However, BOKA recently announced that only 40 athletes shall be travelling to Maputo, Mozambique later this month for the competition.

This means a significant number of athletes will be cut from the national team with about 25 athletes being left behind. The karate association was expected to select a team last weekend; but it soon became clear that the issue of cutting the team had evoked negative energy in the camp. This political development saw BOKA failing to come up with a final list of athletes to represent the country last Saturday.

Majority of the athletes were not entirely happy with the decision and openly aired their grievances with Sun Sports. Some athletes even went as far as threatening to deliberately put their opponents out of action.

“This is the best national team ever, we wonder who will be left behind, nobody wants to remain behind and the best way is to deliberately injure those that are competing in the same categories with us. When they will be busy nursing injuries, we will be home and dry,” said one fuming athlete. “Everybody who was there was number one in their categories.

I cannot imagine how this will affect us, especially for our developing stars,” said another Karateka Moreover, frustrated athletes alleged BOKA management intends on sending more than 20 officials to Mozambique at their expense, which further caused divisions within the association.

In a brief interview recently, crowned Africa Karate Champion also team Captain Ofentse Bakwadi said it was unfortunate that the team will be cut but given the budget, it is impossible to send the whole team to Maputo. He suggested that the association should come up with a more systematic way of resolving the matter.

He decried that Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) was not doing enough to support Karate as one of the performing sport codes locally. Spokesperson of the Association Isaiah Ramontshonyane said the decision to have only 40 athletes at the tournament is final and they expect coaches to provide them with the final list.

Ramontshonyane said they are working on a very tight budget amounting to P350 000 and have to be realistic and very strategic on how to utilise the money. He added that funds permitting, they would take the whole team to Region 5.

“Athletes have to understand that the team will be travelling with coaches, medics and other officials such Million Masumbika as the AUSC official and Tshepo Bathai who is the BOKA President. These are some of the expenses that we need to consider,” he explained.

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