Top karateka heading to Durban tournament

The big guns of the karate world are heading to Durban for the inaugural Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) martial arts tournament this week.

Known as the Pan African Karate Federation’s SADC Region 5 programme, the three-day championship is scheduled for the historic Greyville Racecourse Convention Center from this Friday to Sunday.

Dozens of top-rated exhibitors from regional neighbors Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa will compete in the championship. , according to KSA President and Local Organizing Committee Chef de Mission, 8th Dan Black Belt, Presothan Sonny Pillay.

He said the neighboring kingdoms of Swaziland and Lesotho could be considered for observer status when the agenda item is discussed at executive committee and LOC meetings during the week.

Durban-based Pillay, fresh from one of his many official and ambassadorial forays during a visit to Ghana recently, said he was delighted the global and continental karate authority would send some of its senior administrators at the very first SADC gathering. nations.

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First to land in the city will be World Karate Federation Vice President Bechir Cherif from Tunisia on Wednesday, followed by current African President Joe Rugwete from Zimbabwe. Senegal’s senior executive member Soulamane Gaye, also in his influential capacity as an executive member of the WKF, also adds administrative value and tournament expertise.

Samba Ramsamy, a Durban-based International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board member and one of the founders of SASCOC, is also expected to grace the event.

“Our globally recognized and high ranking karate leader, Cherif Bechir is also a karate master in his own right and he is currently the vice president of the African Karate Federation. We are delighted that he is the main guest of the regional karate championships. Additionally, Durban’s karate stalwart, Hanshi Sonny Pillay, is delighted to host the leaders and networking with these top administrators and top representatives can only strengthen Durban’s historic ties with some of the extraordinary representatives of this popular sport with ancient roots in the East,” said a spokesperson for the tournament.

Bechir’s presence at the three-day championship is critical to the exponential growth of martial arts and socio-economic projects within SADC and other parts of Africa and Durban as a socio-economic development capital. , tourism, sports and congresses which will greatly benefit from these interactions. , fraternity and benevolence.

Besides the competitive spirit of the tournament, Pillay, as President of Karate South Africa and the Commonwealth Karate Federation, and a member of the WKF Technical Council, also recognized as the founding Chief Instructor of the Shotokan Karate Institute of South Africa (SKISA), would receive the visiting heads of delegation at a press conference at the Holiday Inn hotel on Thursday.

The mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, is expected to meet the SADC championship delegation.

In another breakthrough, the World Karate Federation’s global legacy project for the development of African sport is about to get a major launch when Spanish WKF martial arts maestro and top coaching strategist Antonio Eliva Serba will exclusively organize a free workshop for all affiliate members, local participants and visitors, students and karate enthusiasts.

Kristen T. Prall