The Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) has won the rights to host the 2023 Commonwealth Karate Championships with Gaborone set to be the host city of the multi nation tournament in three years’ time. The announcement was made by the Commonwealth Karate Federation this past weekend as BOKA gears up to host another major international tournament, Botswana beat Barbados and Sri Lanka to win the hosting rights of the tournament.
Botswana is set to make history as only the second African country to host the international tournament after South Africa hosted it on two occasions (2009 in Johannesburg and 2018 in Durban). The local karate association first showed their interest in hosting the competition last year and they were originally scheduled to submit the bid in Birmingham, England during the CKF General Assembly in September last year which was then postponed to due the COVID-19 pandemic.
BOKA used the opportunity to prepare a well detailed bid which managed to convince the government and the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to back them. The association also intends to host the World Karate 1 Series A competition annually as a build up to the Commonwealth competition. Botswana officials and athletes will get another platform to pit their wits against their international peers and this will be a huge boost for local sport according to BOKA President Tshepo Bathai.
“We are excited and honoured to host a tournament of this magnitude. It will create a great opportunity for local karate and it represents growth for local sport in general. There were only three nations bidding for the tournament namely Barbados, Sri Lanka and ourselves and we managed to emerge victorious in the bidding process,” Bathai briefly told Gazette Sport.