- Marquee tournaments to demonstrate homegrown talent
Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) has set its sights on hosting two prestigious international competitions within the next three years.
According to the president of Botswana Karate Association, Shihan Mpho Bakwadi, the two marquee events are the 2024 Zone 6 Championships and the 2026 Africa Championships. Shihan Bakwadi emphasised that these hosting endeavours are not only a demonstration of Botswana’s capacity to manage high-calibre competitions but also a platform to spotlight the country’s exceptional homegrown talent.
“Hosting these distinguished competitions presents a golden opportunity for us to assemble a formidable team and showcase the extraordinary talent in our nation,” he said in an interview. Having ascended to the helm of BOKA’s leadership last year, Shihan Bakwadi is resolute in his commitment to propel the growth and advancement of karate throughout Botswana. “To achieve comprehensive and sustainable progress in developing the sport, it is imperative to engage the entire karate community,” he asserted
Programme for schools
He spoke of strategic initiatives that include collaborations with relevant government structures, sports organisations, and potential sponsors, all aimed at fostering support for the expansion of karate development programmes.
In a bid to nurture talent from the grassroots, Shihan Bakwadi unveiled plans to establish and bolster karate programmes in schools and local communities targeting young prodigies who can carry Botswana’s legacy in the martial arts arena. Enhancing coaching and training are also paramount, with Shihan Bakwadi stressing the importance of providing coaches. To achieve this, regular coaching workshops and seminars will be a cornerstone of the approach. Shihan Bakwadi’s vision includes elevating training environments to meet international standards.
He envisions an upswing in the frequency of local, regional and national karate tournaments, furnishing athletes with ample opportunities to test their mettle. These efforts will be complemented by targeted talent identification programmes intended to pinpoint promising athletes at an early stage and offer them specialised training. Regarding development of a robust national team, Shihan Bakwadi emphasised the need to foster a formidable squad that can represent Botswana on regional and international platforms and underscored discipline, respect, and sportsmanship as values necessary to achieve such an end.