By Twimepoki Mangani
Lilongwe, Mana: Malawi Karate Union has expressed confidence in landing a membership spot on the Africa Karate Federation next year following the recent 4th Japanese Ambassador’s Karate Championship held at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
In an interview with Malawi news agency (MANA) President of Malawi Karate Union Joseph Kawerama said that there are processes to be followed to become members of the World Karate federation which administer the sport at the Olympics and Commonwealth.
“First, we need to affiliate with the regional federation which is the United Federation of African Karate; afterwards we shall register with the African Karate as a whole, thereafter to the World karate federation.
“We made an application which the secretariat of region 5 Karate is reviewing and so by next year we shall be part of the World karate federation, “Kawerama said.
Kawerama said that the recent tournament was successful, as improvements have been noted such as the inclusion of the Kumite(fighting) category as they only had the Kutas (Karate form) in previous editions.
In his remarks during the Championship Japanese Ambassador Satoshi Iwakiri pledged that the Japanese Government will continue to support the advancement of Karate in Malawi and hope they participate internationally.
“The world Karate Federation has 197 members, the African Karate Federation has 50 members and Malawi is not yet a member, hence it’s my sincere hope that through continued efforts Malawi can become a member of the federations.
“It is my hope that through this championship more people will be encouraged to start karate and ultimately the development will lead to building peaceful society with mutual understanding and spirit of friendship.
He further commended leadership of karate instructors from various dojos for promoting the sport in Malawi.
Malawi Karate Union comprising of different schools of Karate, Karatekas, Coaches and Judges in collaboration with the Ambassador organised the karate Championship which started in 2017 but was later halted due to covid 19.
Chairperson of Audit, Risk and Ethics Committee at Malawi National Council of Sports said the tournament was well organised but there were certain hiccups due to lack of experience but as a growing sport they have started well.
Joseph Gipacho a black belt holder of Shotokan who won 2 gold medals in Kumite and Katas said he was pleased with his victories attributing them to good preparation. Gold medals in Kata were given to the children, female, under belt, male and black belt winners meanwhile gold medals were also given for under 7, under 11 children, under brown belt, black belt Kumite winners and the best male and female performers were awarded for the tournament held September 17-18.