Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) President Tshepo Bathai has revealed that the association has won the bid to host the 2019 Union Federation of African Karate (UFAK) Championships. Bathai alongside UFAK officials Million Masumbika and Mpho Bakwadi were part of the BOKA contingent who traveled with Otto Tafa’s senior national karate team.
In an interview with this publication Bathai explained that BOKA bid to host the championships had long been on the cards as local various sports codes had been hosting international events.
“In between the tournament there was a continental body meeting where the UFAK member states invited bids for the next championships and our bid became successful. We then consulted the the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) to advice on the suitable year to host the championships between 2017-2019 so we both agreed on the year 2019,” Bathai told Gazette Sport.
In addition to the success of clinching Africa’s top karate championships, Bathai urged the government to support them to meet the tournament requirements with facilities, training venues and marketing.
“The UFAK Championships is highly regarded throughout the continent so this needs support of government officials as well. Issues like VISA clearance can be made easier through the help of the government because in these big championships countries usually come with a large squad so this needs everybody to be hands on,” Bathai added.
Meanwhile this publication has learned that athletes who won medals at the UFAK championships held at Cameroon a fortnight ago will get incentives from BNSC. Next on the BOKA calender of events is the Zone 6 Championships slated for Maputo, Mozambique on the 22-24 June.