Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) is banking on the government through Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) to give them green light to host the 2023 Commonwealth Karate Championships.
The 2020 event which was supposed to be hosted by Birmingham, England was postponed to 2021 September but still England could not host because of Covid-19. This led to the executive board of Commonwealth Karate Federation bringing Botswana’s bid earlier to 2023.
“We had initially bidded to host the 2024 championships but due to COVID-19 and its restrictions the 2020 championships could not be staged and the 2021 will not be staged hence our bid was brought forward to 2023. The executive board in January took a decision to award Botswana after Birmingham could not due to Covid-19” Botswana karate Association (BOKA) president, Tshepo Bathai explained.
He said BOKA is in constant consultations with BNSC towards staging the championships. He said the negotiations are cordial and as BOKA they are optimistic that the government and BNSC will give them the privilege to converge the world karatekas in Gaborone in 2023.
Bathai said the hosting of the championships is destined to benefit Botswana.
“There are legacy programs that are there that will Botswana stand to benefit from. BOKA will have to train more referees, world qualified coaches, first aiders, world class athletes. That is on the side of technical” he said. He said they will also have training facility and 15 development centers all with training mats. The infrastructure is also expected to improve as part of the legacy.
On part of the administration, he said they expect after the games to have improved governance structures and to have, two trained administrators on TV and broadcasting.
At international level the hosting of the championships is expected to improve working relationships with World Karate Federation, Commonwealth Karate Federation and International Olympic Committee.
He said they have forwarded names to BNSC for consideration to be in the Local Organising Committee (LOC).
BOKA is expecting feedback from the BNSC on the way forward.