Gaborone — Kalafhi Medical Centre has injected P800 000 to aid Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) national team with medical needs for the next four years.
During the sponsorship launch on Tuesday in Gaborone, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Edwin Dikoloti said the sponsorship would ensure that athletes remained ready for the international stage and to fly the country's flag high.
He commended Kalafhi Medical Centre for its generous contribution to the promotion of health and wellness as well as development of sports.
The Mmathethe/Molapowabojang MP said sports sponsorship was also about advancing the national agenda since athletes wore national colours and brought a sense of pride to the nation.
Dr Dikoloti also highlighted the power of sports in uniting the nation, adding that anyone who played a role in the development and promotion of sports was fostering national unity and cohesion.
He said since national karate team members were from different places around the country, telemedicine services, which would be provided by the sponsor, would work well to address the issue of locality.
Furthermore, the minister said the sponsorship would go a long way in narrowing whatever health gaps existed in communities, adding that it would also enable the country to realise the Vision 2036 pillar of human and social development and of 'ensuring healthy lives and promotion of the well-being of all' as well as sustainable development.
He explained that the sponsorship would also help protect athletes and prolong their careers in sports due to the availability of quality health care.
Kalafhi Medical Centre will now be the official healthcare provider for the Botswana national karate team.
For his part, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) chairperson, Marumo Morule said the partnership would assist government in its efforts to develop and grow sports.
He expressed gratitude towards the medical centre, noting that not all athletes had access to quality health care.
Morule urged BOKA to effectively manage the relation with the sponsor, saying it would lead to the renewal of sponsorship upon expiry. He said he believed the partnership would also encourage other organisations to assist.
Dr Matlhogonolo Mongwa of Kalafhi Medical Centre highlighted that sports was key to health. She said they realised the need to sponsor BOKA, especially in the era where sports science was key.
"We understand that some athletes do not have medical aid, and we will assist when the need arises," she said.