Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Unrepentant Bathai will not stand for re-election

As Tshepho Bathai’s days as the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) President come to a close, the outgoing BOKA President alludes that he will not stand for re-election. While he says he still had a lot of projects he would have liked to undertake or complete, the BOKA President says he will not seek re-election to finish whatever he started. After a tumultuous six months in office, Bathai says he does regret nor apologise over any decisions he took while in office. Speaking in an interview, the outgoing President says while in office, he had done all possible and had in fact come with a turnaround strategy for BOKA.

Despite his very short stay in office, Bathai says he is happy with his achievements while at the helm of the local Karate mother body. He says one of the initiatives he has undertaken as the BOKA President was to establish a Botswana Karate Foundation Trust, a trust which he believes will raise money for BOKA. “This trust has already been established and we have already had numerous meetings with the trust’s board members.

Unfortunately, at the moment, I cannot reveal the names of the board members. The plan was to use this foundation as a platform to take our sport to the next level and make it competitive,” the outgoing BOKA President explains. He says under the Foundation Trust, some of the projects to be undertaken would be the completion of the BOKA Headquarters, the setting up of the National Karate Development Fund and the start of the Karate Premier League just to name a few.

“Under the National Karate Development Fund, the plan is to help develop all aspects of karate in the country. This fund would cover the development and funding of training for national teams, administrators, instructors and referees,” the outgoing BOKA President explains.

Concerning the commencement of the Karate League, Bathai says the plan is to create a high quality competition which would attract the best of Karatekas in the country. “It is a series of world class Karate competitions recognised and supported by the Botswana Karate Association.

Its aim is to bring together the best Karate competitors in Botswana in a series of open championships of unprecedented scale and quality. In addition to the Botswana Open Karate Championships, which are biennial events, the KPL provide a platform for staging Karate events on a regular basis and thus enhances interest of the public and the media, both nationally and worldwide,” Bathai says.

He says all logistics for the Karate League have already been done and it was expected to kick off in January, something which he hopes the incoming committee will ensure happens. Apart from the above mentioned, Bathai says processes were ongoing to make medical aid and funeral schemes for Karatekas, something which he says would have been a first for local karatekas. He says his vision was to see BOKA being self-sustainable and fully capable of producing world class athletes in the long run. Meanwhile, the BOKA Executive Committee elections, which were expected to have been held this past Wednesday, have been postponed to the 17th of January next year. The rescheduling follows consultations between the BOKA Executive and affiliates.

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