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Karate kicks for the top

NEW BEGINNINGS: Taking karate to greater heights
NEW BEGINNINGS: Taking karate to greater heights

BOKA, BOTESSA unite to develop local karate

In their continued bid to take the high-flying sport to the very top, Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) have secured another exciting new partnership.

Hot on the heels of their landmark deal with Kalafhi Medical Center, the karate kingpins have now teamed up with Botswana Tertiary School Sports Association (BOTESSA).

Officially launched this Tuesday, the five-year collaboration aims to develop local karate from tertiary roots to national level.

Beaming with excitement as he briefed the media on the deal’s finer details, BOTESSA President, Keorapetse Setlhare noted the country’s higher-education institutes were blessed with a wealth of sporting talent.

With a little nurturing, Setlhare is convinced many of these athletes can reach international standards.

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“We have so many talented karatekas at different tertiary institutions and they are going to benefit immensely from this partnership. They will be exposed to being selected for the national team and raise the nation’s flag in various international competitions,” he declared proudly.

Highlighting the wholesale impact the partnership will have on karate, Setlhare revealed, “We are going to jointly address the problems that affect this sporting code going forward and lobby the government to assist us in finding solutions to the identified challenges.

“There will be scholarships, courses and workshops conducted in order to have fully fledged officials, administrators and athletes that could then take over the reins when they call it quits in sports.”

For his part, BOKA President Tshepo Bathai predicted the agreement would prove a defining moment in the rise of local karate.

“We will be dealing with educated people hence this partnership is destined for success. There will be a representative from BOTESSA in our Technical Commission Board to partake in some of the decision making,” Bathai explained.

Describing BOTESSA as ‘ideal partners’ perfectly positioned to develop sport in Botswana, the karate king added, “In most cases, you will find that sporting codes rely more on institutions facilities to stage tournaments or use it for training hence growing our sports.”

For her part, national team karateka, Thabang Maleke, who is in her final year at UB, admitted in the past BOTESSA tournaments have lacked a competitive edge.

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Maleke is confident the new venture will change that.

“Basically as an athlete, competing with undeveloped tertiary student is just collecting medals without any sweat. But with partnership, tertiary athletes are going to start seeing karate as something that they could pick as a career rather than a hobby,” stated the BBA Marketing scholar.

Challenging student athletes to dream big, the accomplished 22-year-old concluded, “Students needs start dreaming of representing the country at prestigious international tournaments and possibly becoming administrators of tomorrow as we need new minds for our sport to grow.”

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