Monday, September 21, 2020

Karate President attacks new styles

Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) President, Gift Nkwe, has launched a scathing attack on the mushrooming of karate styles which he says shows indiscipline.

Speaking last weekend at the Ordinary General Meeting (OGM), Nkwe said the new styles do not add value to the development of the sport. He stressed that the styles are products of conflicts within member affiliates of the association. Nkwe added that the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) continues to receive applications for membership by break-away factions.

“I would like to condemn this without reservation, as it impacts on our credibility as an organization and tarnishes the name of our sporting code. It must also be noted that this breeds a lot of indiscipline amongst our athletes and officials as they are always torn between the warring factions and, in the process, being fed with information that is meant to discredit either of the factions,” he lamented.

Nkwe also appealed to member affiliates to put their egos behind them and resolve their differences. He touched on funding of activities in the calendar, which he said have been inadequately covered by BNSC funds, resulting in some activities being deserted. Nkwe, however, promised members that the executive team would solicit sponsorship for activities that are not covered by the BNSC grant.

Recently, the association received a whooping P700 000 sponsorship from the Japanese Embassy to be used for the construction of an indoor facility, or dojo, as it is referred to in karate circles.

The other notable sponsorship deal is the Western Union P50 000 which will fund BOKA’s annual awards and the senior team championships.

On regional affairs, Nkwe assured the member affiliates that BOKA remains affiliated to legitimate Karate bodies, such as Zone 6 and UFAK, which are affiliated to the World Karate Federation. He added that some members of the BOKA executive, including himself, were elected into positions of several executive committees of Karate governing bodies, which include the Commonwealth Karate Federation, Zone 6 Karate Union and some commissions of UFAK. He said that it was testimony that Botswana Karate is making great impact in the sport of karate around the globe and that their good governance is recognized by other bodies.

The running of Karate Africa has been a subject of controversy in recent years and has had its fair share of problems with a former president of UFAK breaking away from the organization to establish his own and is understood to be tirelessly lobbying for countries to join the off-shoot organization. Last year BOKA could not send a team to the Africa championships in Benin, due to the uncertainty surrounding the conflicts in the UFAK management.

Nkwe, promised affiliates that the problems have since been resolved and a team will be sent to this year’s championships. Another tournament which the organization failed to pitch up for was the world cup in Japan, reportedly due to financial constraints.

The association, however, was confident that they will participate in the next world cup to be held in Egypt.

Overall, BOKA did exceptionally well in the regional and international tournaments that they participated in during the previous year, scooping a number of medals and attaining quite a number of reputable positions.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.