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BoKA targets 2024 Commonwealth champs

SHARE   |   Thursday, 14 November 2019   |   By Baitshepi Sekgweng
BoKA targets 2024 Commonwealth champs

Just months   after   hosting the  2019 UFAK Junior and Senior   Championships  in Gaborone, Botswana Karate  Association(BoKA) is  contemplating on  bidding for the   2024  Commonwealth  Karate Championships. According to the  available  information  the   association is currently working  on  a  smooth proposal    which   they   are to  submit  to the mother body,  Botswana National  Sports  Commission(BNSC)  for endorsement .Should   BNSC okay   the   bidding, BoKA will then  throw in their name  in  when   bidding  process  is opened  in June 2020.The   winning   host nation   is expected   to be  announced three months later in  September  2020.

 As it  stands  Botswana ‘s  only  competitors   are  Sri Lanka and Malaysia   who  also  want to take the biennial  tournament   to the Asian   continent . However  the  main   question that  remains  is, does Botswana meet   the  requirements  to  host  the  tournament of this magnitude considering that  the Commonwealth   Federation   consists of  great  membership    from  across the  world. However from  the  look of things   it seems  like Botswana  meet  all  the   requirements which  have been   set  aside  for a country to host    the  competition. The requirement set  include  that the bidding nation  should be a member  in good standing , have enough  hotels  to accommodate  all  the  53 member countries, have  locally  qualified world referees  and  have an   arena  which  meets  world standard  in  terms of capacity.

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 Therefore   Boka’s  bid  is  likely   to  stand  a chance  since  the University  of Botswana Indoor Sports   arena  is available   and  was  lastly   used for  the UFAK Championships .The  state of art facility   which remains of the  best in the country  so far  has   a seating  capacity  of  3000 people   therefore  is  a perfect  venue  which  BoKA   can  hand in in their  bid. In the past the facility has hosted   high profile events like CUCSA Championships, FIBA Africa Zone VI Club Championship Playoffs, UFAK Championships and Netball Youth World Cup. Accommodation does not provide any challenge    due to the availability of hotels like Oasis Motel, Grand Palm and Cresta.

BoKA  spokesperson  Isaiah  Ramontshonyane  have  since  confirmed the   development  and shared  that  hosting the   tournament  might  cost  as much as P2.5 million. However   when  considering the  fact  that    the   government    injected   P3 million  into the  hosting of UFAK  some months back  it  is  quite  obvious  that  sponsoring  the hosting  of Commonwealth  championships    might not be  a challenge. When quizzed   why they are interested in    bidding for Commonwealth Championships, Ramontshonyane said    hosting the tournament   comes with a lot of benefits.

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“This will accelerate  the development  of Karate  in Botswana  to  be  world standard  since  BoKA  will  have to   ensure   that at least   15  referees  are  qualified  under WKF  standards. So   hosting comes   with training more coaches, instructors and administrators   such that all meet the    elite standard of running sports. In addition athlete development   pathway will be implemented to ensure that all karatekas stand a chance to represent   the country,” explained Ramontshonyane. Though  it is   requirement  for the  host nation  to  have  a couple of  WKF  qualified referees up to now Botswana  has  only  one umpire   of that  sort being Mpho Bakwadi.

Already   the  2020  tournament  has  been  awarded   to England  with Birmingham  chosen as   the  host   town, therefore  it  remains  to  be   seen  if the  2024 edition will  head  to  Asia  or  Africa   again. In the past  years   the  government   through  Ministry   of Sports has  been encouraging   local   sports   federations   to   bid    to host high profile  events therefore   it will be  imperative  for BNSC  to  support Boka’s bid. The  last  Commonwealth  Karate  Championships   which   were held   in Africa   was  in 2018   in Cape Town, South  Africa  where Botswana won a total of  16 medals being   three  gold, six  silver  and seven  bronze.

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