The newly elected Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) president, Sensei Million Masumbika, says it is the aim of his newly elected executive to take Karate to the people.
Speaking during a press conference to present himself and his newly elected executive to the media, the BOKA president said the new committee will be seeking to continue where their predecessors left off and turn around the fortunes of the sport in the country.
Top of the list in Sensei Masumbika and his new committee in turning around the fortunes of Karate will be the resuscitation of the sport’s community-based clubs.
Addressing members of the media, Masumbika said for the past years, the sport has seen a sharp decline in the number of community clubs, adding that at the moment the sport is left mainly with school clubs. He said as such, the new committee will be looking for a way to rebuild the fallen clubs, which will help their aim of taking the sport to the people.
“Building these clubs will also offer our out of school youths places where they can train outside the schools,” Masumbika said.
He added that another new development they intend to bring will be the creation of a database of all Karatekas in the country.
Masumbika says creating such a database will help BOKA know the exact number of members as well as to keep track of the sport’s progress.
On issues of governance, the BOKA president says his new executive will be looking to revisit the association’s constitution to enforce discipline, which is the core principle in martial arts. He says this will help put in place guidelines by which the Karatekas can live by, both on and off the dojo.
Further, Masumbika says his committee will be looking at the issue of mushrooming of karate styles in the country. Responding to a question on whether the new committee will look at the issue and try to stop the mushrooming of karate styles which is mainly caused by splits within styles, Masumbika said looking at the issue was one of the major points in his campaign strategy to lead BOKA and it will be looked at.
He said a commission will be set up to look at the issue and a way forward will be mapped once the commission had handed in a report.
He also said that they will be putting in place measures and strategies to ensure that new styles are vetted before being admitted to BOKA to ensure they qualify. He said with Karate facing financial challenges, it will be even more difficult for his association to help all codes if they continue mushrooming as the grant they get is not enough, even to cater for all their activities.
Meanwhile, BOKA’s Vice President Technical, Sensei Mpho Bakwadi, has appealed to the media to help the new committee build the sport. He said while the media has a duty to inform people on what is happening, they must not only write the bad but must also write the good things.
With the exception of its Public Relations Officer, Jerry Ditlhong, who retained his position from the past committee, the all new BOKA executive committee consists of Sensei Masumbika (President), Sensei Bakwadi (VP Technical), Lere Basupang (VP Administration), Taboka Slave (Secretary General), Ezekiel Seru (Vice Secretary General) and Bontle Charles as the Treasurer.