The course starts on Sunday while the Dubai Open Karate Premier League is scheduled for Al Wasi Club from February 16 to 18, 2018. The premier league event was launched in 2011, and there are seven circuit events held in Paris, Dubai, Rotterdam, Rabat, Istanbul, Berlin and Tokyo, as part of the build up to the Dubai main competition.
Rakgampu is attending the WKF premier league event together with Sensei Union Kgafela and Shihan Mpho Bakwadi. Rakgampu told Mmegi Sport that Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) assisted him with travel costs but he will pay for accommodation and course fees. Rakgampu said he has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.
“I have been struggling to get a WKF licence due to financial constraints. My intention is to go and get that licence. I am an Africa Karate Federation (UFAK) licence holder,” he said.
Rakgampu started officiating as a national kumite judge A and kata judge B in 2001. In 2003 he qualified as a Region V kumite judge A and kata judge A. He continued rising through the ranks until 2010 when he became an UFAK judge B and kata judge B.
also as a coach. The following year (2011) I became a UFAK kata judge A,” Rakgampu said.
He said his hard work was recognised as he was nominated during the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) awards for referee of the year on two occasions. Despite slow progress, Rakgampu said he decided to be patient, a virtue which he believes would assist him to acquire the WKF licence, not to rush into anything but go through the stages. He said his next step is to seek sponsorship in order to attend more referees’ courses.
Meanwhile, Bakwadi said as a qualified WKF referee, he is going to Dubai to officiate. He said it is a privilege for him to officiate in a WKF premier league event. “I just hope Rakgampu and Kgafela qualify,” he said. Kgafela holds a WKF kumite licence and is going to Dubai to get a licence for kata. “I am ready for the course and I do not see (myself) missing out on this opportunity,” he said.
Kgafela said this was a rare opportunity to learn what happens at a world event. Rakgampu leaves for Dubai today, Kgafela on Sunday, while Bakwadi flies out on Tuesday.