The long awaited indoor facility that the Botswana Karate Association has long waited for will kick start soon following the recent grant the association received from the Embassy of Japan in Botswana.
Speaking at the official ground breaking ceremony held recently at the proposed facility plot in Gaborone, BOKA President, Gift Nkwe, noted that the event marks an important day in their calendar of events stating that, “this sponsorship brings us closer to realizing our vision and missions as an association”.
He explained that despite having been operating without their own grounds they have always remained the highest medal haulers in the sporting fraternity.
“We have always been relying on community halls and church halls for our events and with this facility, we are sure we are even going to get more medals for the country. Having our own Dojo will also provide us with an opportunity to realize our full potential,” he said.
He further said this is the biggest gesture they have received since their inception.
Presenting the sponsorship, Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Ryoichi Matsuyama asserted that they hope the sponsorship would further enhance activities of BOKA.
“The building of this Dojo is also a step forward in strengthening cultural cooperation through sports between the two countries as well as step towards sports development in Botswana,” he said.
He noted that they are donating P688 424 to BOKA.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard, 2nd secretary at the Embassy of Japan, Tomoyuki Hanami, said the grant comes from a universal project they have mainly for developing countries.
“The grant for this project comes from our project, the Grant Aid for Cultural Grassroots Projects Scheme (GACGP),” he said, adding that the grant is given only to non-governmental organizations that are usually connected to cultural activities with Japan.
“In this case, Karate is what brought us together besides them having applied for the grant,” Hanami said.
He further said the grant has benefited a lot of other African and Asian countries.
Botswana Karate Association PRO, Moses Moloi, said, “It must be reiterated that Botswana Karate Association is honoured by the invaluable gesture by the Embassy of Japan in awarding the grant of close to P700 000 towards the building of the facility for the development of Karate in Botswana.”
He added that this still remains one of the most significant contributions to sports development in Botswana, especially to Karate.
“It must also be emphasized that this development comes at a crucial time when Karate shall be recognized as an Olympic sport in 2012, thus providing the critical services of indoor training facilities in Botswana,” he added.