HARARE – Botswana Ambassador to Zimbabwe Louis Matshwenyego Fisher walked down the memory lane when he was the guest of honour at the Champion of Champions AfricaBet Karate championships held at City Sports Centre in Harare on Saturday evening.
Hosted by the Zimbabwe Karate Union (ZKU) and supported by AfricaBet, the event drew participants from all corners of the country.
Fisher, a former lieutenant general in the Botswana army and grew up practicing the sport, commended the athletes and parents for ensuring that the show was well-attended and lived to its billing on the tatami.
“I think it’s a beautiful way of finishing up and closing 2017 with this tremendous performance from these karatekas…karate is a sport that is close to my heart having been a karateka myself during my younger days,” Fisher told the Daily News.
“It’s a sport that builds character, when you have these kids coming like this…I salute the parents for bringing the children here…a karate kid will never give you problems of doing homework because discipline is instilled so I think this is a beautiful way to say bye to 2017, welcome 2018.”
Fishers pleaded with the parents and guardians to continue giving their children support towards the sport.
“These are the future, the kids are the future. It is important that we as the elders should give them all the support,” he said.
“Look where are we coming from ourselves? This is where we come from. And now what are we saying to our children, these are the gifts, these are the leaders of our countries tomorrow these are the Sadc leaders of tomorrow so we must really stand up and do whatever little we can do to give them support.”
ZKU president Paul Danisa was happy with the turnout and thanked the sponsor AfricaBet for helping the association in raising the standards of karate.
“It turned out to be very positive because we had participants from all over the country. We had participants from Bulawayo, Masvingo, Triangle, Mutare across both the semi-contact and the full contact side,” Danisa said.
“The turnout has been very encouraging and with regards to the standards you could see that these guys have now had exposure in one or two international events because the standards have certainly gone up higher so certainly we are definitely on course, it’s a good project and I’m happy with that.
“The biggest attraction now is that we have been able to compete internationally and that has acted as the motivation for most of our athletes being able to put Zimbabwe on the world map to get the necessary recognition.”