Veronica Chube, the first woman to chair the Botswana Kofukan Federation is happy with her job and looking forward to do as much for karate as she can during her two year tenure.
Speaking to Voice Sport as she celebrated her second month in office on Tuesday, Chube said her colleagues in the male dominated sport have accepted her and want her to succeed.
“We have a brother sister relationship. I have been a karateka since 1992 and I can tell you that gender bias is not a problem in karate. This kind of environment helped me succeed when I was Secretary General of the Kofukan Federation some year back. I bank on it to work for me again”.
The 34-year-old old Chube said she intends to with the help of the executive committee she head to take karate to the next level.
“The first thing I want to do is make the Kofukan Federation run like a business. We are a society but I think we can do a lot better if we operate like a business. This will help us negotiate with business houses for sponsorship better. I also want to secure enough funds for tournaments and our development programme ”, she said.
She went on to say that funding for development is urgent as there are more 300 young children of both sexes affiliated to the Kofukan Federation who need to be groomed.
“We need money because Karate is an expensive sport. For example score boards cost at least P20 000.00 a pair. The cost of training equipment is also substantial. In karate like in other sport it is best to catch them young, thus the urgent need for money at grass roots level”, Chube told Voice Sport.
“We need to improve our performances at international level and we can only do that if we start developing our athletes at the youngest possible age” she added. On another matter Chube said she is please with the progress she and her committee have made in getting sponsors since they took office in July.
“Ya Rona lodge has agreed to give us their conference facitilities for all our excutive committee meetings. We also reached agreed with two other companies. One will do our website for free and the other will help us with our strategic plan also for free. Unfortunately I cannot tell who those companies are now”, she said.
Chube further expressed concern at the way karatekas leave the sport once they are past competition age and wants retain as many of them as possible.
“Karate is not all about competing. Even when one can no longer compete they can help the sport by developing young talent and doing some administrative jobs. We need everybody to grow the sport and be counted in the world. ”, Chube who is also an employee of the Botswana National Sports Council said.