Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
WITH several karatekas missing out on regional and international events due to lack of resources, the Zimbabwe Karate Union has put in place a projects committee in a move expected to help raise funds for teams on national duty.
The committee to be led by George Maposa as the chairperson, will include the ZKU legal, marketing and media personnel and a representative for the secretariat. The committee will be responsible for resource mobilisation for national teams.
Maposa said they have to be self-sustaining as an organisation instead of relying on donations and sponsorship.
“What we basically want to do is we want to be self-funding. We want to have projects that can meet ZKU requirements in terms of sending athletes to international tournaments. We want majority of the finances to be coming through ZKU projects, a small percentage would come from donors and sponsors.
The initiative is expected to benefit all athletes that would make national teams unlike in the past when individuals had to fund themselves when representing the country.
In some cases, talented and deserving athletes ended up missing the opportunity to compete at a higher level because they could not afford to fund themselves.
“When we have someone who is talented, who is a karateka in Gutu or in Gwanda and can’t fund himself, ZKU should be able to do that. We still need donors, advertisers, sponsors. But we also want to do something of our own because you can see most organisations were affected by Covid-19, the budget for marketing, sponsorship and things like that has really gone down.
“It is really important for us to come up with something that can help us before we go out with our begging bowl.
“We will be having a national team and then the national association takes care of that instead of having individual styles taking care of their athletes, some of whom might actually fail to expose someone’s talent because of funding. As the national association we said we need to come up with projects that can fund all talented karatekas.
“At the end of the day we want to have as many karatekas as we can being exposed to regional tournaments, international tournaments and realising their dream of fighting. That’s why we said we need to come up with projects as ZKU instead of waiting for styles to do that,” Maposa said.
The committee is working on having the project running in the next three months.