Lagos grooms 200 athletes at South West U-18 Karate Championship
Speaking at the event, which was attended by karate athletes from age three to 18, Chairman of the association, Omololu Bello stated that the grassroots championship was a necessary step towards producing world champions in the sport. He assured that the karate body would always initiate programmes to uplift karate not only in Lagos State but also the whole federation.
He was a delight that the championship had thrown up many talented athletes since it started five years ago, adding that the association was poised to produce athletes that would represent the country at the world level in the nearest future.
“This is our little way of developing talents at the grassroots and I am happy that since we started this competition, we have discovered about four athletes, who have competed at National/West African levels and won gold medals.
“Four of them are currently part of the karate national team that featured at the last Africa Games in Morocco. So, our vision is to develop young athletes and build them up over a period of time to enable them to become leaders in karate globally,” he said.
He revealed that plans were on to organise a world karate training programme next year for officials and coaches to enable them to improve on their skills, as well as be conversant with the latest rules and regulations of the game.
“We are not limiting our development to athletes alone; we are also organising training programmes for our referees, officials and coaches to enable them to officiate at international championships. Next year we hope to organise a world karate training programme for them,” he assured.
Also speaking at the event, Lagos State Karate Coach, Shola Shoyoye while commending Optimum Impact Foundation for partnering with the association, appealed to government and corporate organisations to emulate the Lagos Karate association and also support the development of the sport.
The one-day event was attended by schools and karate clubs from across the state.
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