Rwanda Karate federation (Ferwaka) has set a national open championship to serve as a platform for selecting a team that will participate in the African Karate Championship 2018.
The Rwanda open championship is set to take place on December 23rd, attracting over 20 clubs and at least 50 participants.
Participants will compete in two categories (Open Kata, and Open Kumite) for both men and women. Winners will walk away with gold, silver and bronze medals in each category.
“Our main objective is not medals but technical progress in karate to enable Rwanda compete for continental awards, starting with the 2018 continental tourney which is to be hosted by Rwanda,” said Théogène Uwayo, the Ferwaka president.
Uwayo said the competition will also set precedence for a talent search in the game from which Rwanda is pegging on to change its continental ranking from 7th position.
Even with this ambition, the Karate federation could be doomed due to lack of funding.
Rwanda has over 3000 registered karate players but the last time the country participated in a continental game was in 2014 in which the country managed to scoop the 7th position out of 15 competing states.
According to sources, the organization needs about 60million annually to prepare and grow the game so as to win continental awards but funding, for example about Rwf20million in 2014, was provided at the time of participation.”
KTPress learned that the federation has not yet received any funding for preparation of the 2018 continental championships which are due in august 2018 in Kigali.
“This means we basically have a few months to prepare for the tourney,” the federation said.
Emmanuel Bugingo, the Head of the Sports Unit in the Sports and Culture Ministry said that the budget detail has not yet been discussed in-depth but the federation has to yet submitted a request.
As the federation grapples with financial challenges, the Japanese embassy in Rwanda recently donated 400square meters of Tatami mats which will enable the federation to set up three training fields and one warm-up field.
Clubs to compete in Rwanda Open
Clubs Okapi Karatedo Club, UR Karatedo Club, Mamaru Katate Club, Flying Eagle Karatedo Club, Lion Karatedo Club, Imirabyo Karatedo Club
Rafiki Karatedo Club, Okinawa Karatedo Club, Tamashiwari Karatedo Club, Sochin Karatedo Club, Karongi Karatedo Club, Sinzi Karatedo Club