In an effort to accommodate more karatekas and promote sufficient Karate trainings and tournaments, Botswana Karate Association (BoKA) will expand their current Karate training hall (Dojo) in Gaborone.
The expansion, which will be done through the aid of the Japanese Government grant scheme ‘’Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Projects” will commence sometime this month and is scheduled to be complete after 5 months.
It has been revealed that the new extension is the second phase of BoKA’s initial training hall building plan, with the current dojo having been built in phase 1. The extension is expected to be of similar size to the one built in Phase 1.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of the grant agreement with BoKA, the Ambassador of Japan to Botswana, His Excellency Kozo Takeda, said his government donated an amount of 84,969 US Dollars to BoKA towards extending the dojo.
Takeda said “The grants assistance is also part of the “sport for tomorrow” project, which is an international contribution through sport initiative led by the Japanese Government.
He said the initiative aims to spread the value of sport and to promote the Olympic and Paralympic movement worldwide, leading up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo.
Commenting on the matter, BoKA President Tshepo Bathai said “the phase 1 of the hall, which is the current dojo was also sponsored by the Japanese government in 2009.” Bathai said ever since the facility was built, it had assisted BoKA massively in training many local and international Karate champions.
“We are also using the dojo to host national tournament courses such as coaching and referees‘s courses. It is through the hall that we managed to get position 1 in Africa in Kata in 2017,” he enthused.
Bathai added that there are high numbers of people joining Karate and the dojo was the only facility that they had at the moment, and it was thus not enough to hold the many sessions required.
He revealed that with the extension on the cards, the hall will now be able to accommodate all the national teams training at the same time as they have the national championship coming up in May.
“We have more than 80 athletes that need to be trained so the expansion of the hall will cater for situations like this one. The hall should be adequate to accommodate atleast four tatami rings to host the national championships” Bathai concluded.