The president of Botswana Taekwondo Federation (BTF), Vinay Naicker says he is impressed with the way the sport is making inroads within the sporting fraternity. Naicker said this at the inaugural Taekwondo Grassroots championship which was held at the Sir Seretse Khama Junior Secondary School over the weekend. The BTF president said although they expected 120 participants, they were overwhelmed by the higher than expected turn out of over 400 participants.
“The grassroots championship is in line with Botswana national Sport Commission vision 2028,” he said. He explained that the federation will be introducing young kids from the ages of six inorder to prepare them for the 2028 Olympics. “We want to make sport available to all Batswana and we will be training coaches to spread the game across the country. Our federation is only four years old and we are doing well in attracting kids and they are passionate about the sport. By 2028 we will have a pool of athletes to select the national team from,” he observed.
Technical director and national team coach, Gladys Njoroge reiterated his president’s sentiments saying, “the most important thing is to introduce the kids to sport and make sure they compete so that they understand the game and its laws. As they grow older we will emphasise on technical knowledge so that they can perfect their technique during competitions,” she said.
Naicker said the BTG has invited grand master, Hyo Joo Lee from Korea to drill the team that will be competing in the coming regional championships to be hosted by South Africa in Kwazulu Natal on August 25th. In November they will send the junior national team to Canada to compete in the world junior championships. The Korean grand master has been engaged on a six month contract to train the national team and also pilot classes at Modipane and Oodi Primary schools.
The BTF president said with Karate now being an Olympic sport, they will ensure that their athletes receive all the necessary training in order for them to qualify for the Olympics.