Kofukan Open Championship Sensei, Tsholofelo Maduma of SSG Karate Club has labelled the federation as incompetent because it allegedly failed to support her after she dislocated her toe in March 2016.
After her injury, Maduma lost out on an opportunity to be selected to compete at the just ended World Kofukan Open that was held in Bulgaria after. This was because doctors had ordered her not to partake in any physical activities for 12 weeks. In an interview with Sunday Standard Sport, a distraught Maduma revealed that the Kofukan federation has never checked on her since she got injured.
“I am so disappointed because I never thought they would abandon me like this. I dedicated years of my life to Kofukan and this is the kind of treatment I get? Not even one of them has checked on me. Only my club has been supportive as they even wrote to my lecturers informing them of my injury,” said Maduma.
Sensei Maduma, who is a final year student at Botho University also had no kind words for Kofukan federation President Sensei Million Masumbika.
“My Parents called Masumbika to find out how the federation intends to assist me. He promised to get back to them, but he hasn’t done so to date. They don’t even care about how I get to school. This is very bad because athletes give their best for the country. We shouldn’t be given such shoddy treatment just because we are injured,” said Maduma.
Desperate for assistance, Maduma said she appealed to the karate motherbody, Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) since she is a national team athlete. Her hopes were shattered when they told her that they couldn’t help her because she was not injured on national duty. However, Maduma said the shoddy treatment that she got from the karate fraternity will not dissuade her as she dearly loves the sport.
“I’m a strong woman. I joined karate on my own volition and I am going to continue with the sport. However, I have learnt an unforgettable lesson and I hope my fellow athletes will also learn from my predicament,” she said.
Reached for comment, BOKA Vice President technical Shi-han Mpho Bakwadi said BOKA has no obligation to karatekas who get injured at club level or while on inter federation duty.
“It’s up to their respective federations to take charge of them,” he said.
He further expressed concern with the tendency of karatekas to tarnish the good name of the sport by spreading misleading information about the association.
“We are aware of Maduma’s injury, which she incurred at the Kofukan tournament. It’s a straight and forward issue that doesn’t involve BOKA. We only take such responsibility when the athletes are injured. It is vital for clubs to educate their athletes regarding such matters and spare us embarrassment. Clearly they lack intellectual insight on how to deal with such issues,” he said.