Tuesday, October 19, 2021

New BOKA leadership moves fast to start on new slate

The newly elected Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) National Executive Committee (NEC) has hit the ground running.

Just a month into their reign, the Tshepo Bathai-led committee has moved to resuscitate BOKA commissions in a bid to fast forward the sport’s growth.

The commissions and their heads met the BOKA NEC this past Thursday, where they were briefed of their roles and responsibilities.

According to BOKA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Isaiah Ramontshonyana, the association had to move fast to resuscitate the commissions as they were inactive.

“As per our constitution, BOKA has at least six commissions in its structures. These are the referee’s commission, technical commission, development commission, medical commission, development commission, organising commission and the athletes’ commission,” the BOKA PRO explained.

“However, over the past years, only the referees and technical commissions have been functional while the other four were inactive. We therefore felt the need to bring them back as we embark on a mission to grow karate,” Ramontshonyana continued.

To ensure that the commissions are manned by well qualified individuals, he said certain qualification criterion was put in place.

“We then called on our affiliates to submit the names of all the individuals they wanted in the various commissions. Once they did that, the NEC, under the supervision of the BOKA vice president technical, scrutinised the names and then decided on who should sit in the commissions,” he explained.

Ramontshonyana said of all the names submitted by the affiliates, only one individual, who was selected to sit in the referees’ commission, was rejected.

“The individual who was rejected did not meet our set qualification standards and we could not accept that. We sat down with him and he understood and accepted our decision,” he said.

According to Ramontshonyana, for the chairmen of the commissions, they went for experienced people to offer the necessary guidance.

Among the notable selections is that of Shihan Mpho Bakwadi, who will head the referee’s commission. Bakwadi was a contender for BOKA presidency in the past elections but was defeated by Bathai.

According to Ramontshonyana, Bakwadi has been selected to lead the referee’s commission due to his experience.

Bakwadi, who is a qualified world karate referee, is also one of the highest graded local karatekas and holds a 6th Dan Black Belt grade. 

Other commission chairmen are: Garry Kgathi (technical commission), Moemedi Mpebe (development commission), Orchard Kgosiesele (medical commission), China Metswi (organising commission) while Moses Jones will lead the athletes commission. 

With safety in mind, Ramontshonyana said for the medical commission, they went for people experienced in first aid.

Meanwhile, the BOKA PRO said while the commissions will be expected to meet the BOKA NEC in a month, the same will not apply to the development and technical Commissions.

The two are expected to finalise a list of athletes to be forwarded to the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) for the elite scholarship and to be developed for 2020 Olympics.

“We have already met with the BNOC over the matter and we expect the two commissions to come up with names of six females and six males in just over a week,” he explained.

In the meantime, the BOKA PRO said they were now on a hunt for a coach that will be responsible for the karatekas.

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