Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) Vice President Technical Shihan Mpho Bakwadi reached a milestone by becoming the first Motswana to attain a World Karate Federation Kata Judge A referee which is the highest grade on offer in karate.
This was after he successfully completed the training course that was attended by top WKF officials in Melbourne, Australia, prior to the recent Karate World Championships recently.
Bakwadi said all it required was dedication and he did it in the best interest of the sport in Botswana.
“I spent a lot of time studying for this course and it was not an easy journey. It required effort and hard work, knowing how much it could benefit not only me but also Botswana as a whole,” Bakwadi explained.
“I sacrificed a lot where there was need and where the association couldn’t help due to lack of money and I therefore urge every umpire to go out there and chase their dreams in order to take our sport to greater heights,” he said.
Bakwadi intends to impart his skills to other officials in order to improve the level of kata officiating in the country.
“We have been behind in terms of kata participation at international level as most of our athletes specialises in kumite so I am going to draw in more interest in kata. Currently we have Ofentse Bakwadi, Thatho Malunga and Lame Hetanang who specialises in kata amongst and this is a reflection of the talent in the country which only needs to be nurtured. I intend to conduct training workshops for coaches and referees to update them with the developments and changes that were made,” added Bakwadi.
Bakwadi completed the Kata Judge B level one course that was held in Indonesia last year. He is the only Motswana who holds kata and kumite judge certificates.
“I will always make sure that my country benefit in all decisions and matters that are being discussed at world level. There are referees who only have the African level qualifications and we are planning to send them abroad to attain the international level honours but it won’t be easy because it requires dedication and hard work,” he concluded.
Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) President David Mathe said: “It is from such qualifications that we are able to sharpen our performance in kata competition as we will be having a referee of that level and that is the greatest plus that we have received in our local sport.