… Throws three coaches under the bus
In an unexpected turn of events, Botswana Karate Association (BoKA) has moved swiftly to relieve national team coaches from their duties just two weeks after the UFAK Senior and junior championships which was marred by a lot of controversy.
Head coach of the junior team George Tshikare together with his assistant Moses Jones and assistant coach of the senior team Peter Molefhe are some of the causalities of the overhaul which is said to be initiated by lack of funds. Only senior team coaches Christopher Ponatshego and his assistant Keone Kgorothe have been spared.
However, according to sources close to the developments, what might have influenced BOKA leadership on this decision is the disappointing performance of the national team during UFAK. Team Botswana came on distant eighth position with 13 medals being two silver and 11 bronze but no gold; falling short of their target of 15 medals.
Though BOKA denies that the three coaches were dismissed because of the recent bad performance of the team, karate has never been at peace this year as their troubles keep on erupting and intensifying .
Favoritisms and sowing seeds of discord among various affiliates and styles has been persistent problems in the karate fraternity to an extent that some affiliates do not want the current BOKA leadership.
“We had a contract to pay coaches with the belief that the money for hosting will be used to pay them but we later learnt that it was not possible. Therefore, BOKA struggled with paying the coaches. And I have to maintain that BoKA took the decision to part ways with the coaches long before UFAK; so it has nothing to do with results,” said BOKA spokesperson, Isaiah Ramontshonyane.
Since there are more upcoming competitions being All Africa games, Tokyo 2020 Qualifiers and World Beach games, Ramontshonyane said Ponatshego and Kgorothe will be in charge of the team while they still search for other coaches.
“We will be advertising for national team coach with a contract that does not bind BoKA that much because at the moment our only source of funds is through the grant that we get from Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC),” he said.