Ofentse Bakwadi, the reigning Africa Karate Double Gold Champion and the Africa Karate Individual Kata Champion launched the #Road2Tokyo2020 Fundraising Campaign in Gaborone last week. The campaign launch will pave way for various fundraising initiatives aimed at propelling the multi-award winner to the Tokyo2020 Olympics.
Bakwadi, who is also the reigning Botswana National Sports Commission Sportsman of the Year, said at the launch “Karate is participating for the first time at the Olympics in 2020. Although funding for the actual participation in 2020 will be covered by the Botswana National Olympics Commission, pre-training, which is a big catalyst to the equation, is not funded for, which means as part of preparations to qualify for the games, I have to raise funds on my own, to enhance my opportunities to qualify.”
He also highlighted that this would be Botswana’s inaugural participation at the Olympics, under the Karate banner, and emphasized his full commitment to ensure that should he go through, he will bring a medal for the country. He added that the pre-games tournaments and training that he has to do are outside the country, in countries such as Japan, Germany, Chile and China.
Bakwadi continues to invest his personal finances into acquiring international training and exposure, and has recently returned from the United States of America, where he funded himself to participate in the US Open Karate Tournament which was held in April 2018. He also self-funded to attend training the K1 Championship in the Netherlands and Dubai in 2017, as well as training camp in Hong Kong.
So far he has secured himself support from Cresta Holdings, Keorapetse Investments and Graphics Suite, a youth-owned graphics design agency.