FOR THE Jamaican Karate Federation, Thursday will remain a red letter day as the local sports body has been officially accepted by the World Karate Federation (WKF), after a provisional membership.
Jamaica recently competed at the 25th Karate World Championships earlier this month in Dubai, and that’s where the historic occasion unfolded as the country was elected a permanent member of the WKF.
Karate has had a very long and illustrious history in Jamaica, but it is undoubtedly the pinnacle of success for the sport, whose recognition by the prestigious world body has resulted in the concretization of its affiliation with the organization. national sportsman, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).
The President of the Jamaican Karate Federation, Seishihan Tony Robinson, did not stress enough his thanks and appreciation for the acceptance and support given by the Jamaican Olympic Association (JOA).
âPresident Christopher Samuda and General Secretary Ryan Foster have been with us from the start and without their unwavering support karate would not have reached what it is today,â said Robinson.
âWe must also mention Jason McKay, who was with us from the start. With this support Jamaican karate has made tremendous progress and captured the hearts and minds of the martial arts world, âsaid Robinson.
Foster, who is also CEO of JOA, underlined their shared vision while expressing confidence in the progress made by his member sports organization.
âThe JOA is not surprised at the great strides that karate has made since it was admitted as a member of the JOA. We believe in the vision of Tony and his team, which is aligned with that of the JOA, âsaid Foster.
Robinson highlighted their progress by saying: âWe have top athletes like Alton Brown, who is the top ranked athlete in the region, with a world ranking of 14; Valentyna Zolostrova, the top ranked woman in the region, who is also a WKF certified coach, âhe continued. âFor the very first time, karate was represented at the Pan American Games held in Lima, Peru, when Jessica Cargill made history by qualifying for these games.
âApart from that, our athletes have attended many training courses and seminars abroad, all the way to Ukraine, with the help of the JOA,â said Robinson. âThis has contributed to the certification as coaches and referees, which includes Alton Brown and Valentyna. This will do good for the development of karate in Jamaica and the region.
âKarate in Jamaica has always been classified by many as a minor sport, but this achievement should change that view,â he added.
Commenting further on the sport’s achievements, Foster noted Jamaican karate’s growing reputation in regional and international competitions, saying this aligns with JOA’s goal of developing the country’s sports capital in a healthy way.
“Alton and Jessica have gone on to win international medals, and it is such acceptance from the WKF that justifies our belief in karate and our vision of ‘sport for all’,” said Foster.
âThe success of sport is not only illustrated by the number of medals won, but the impact we all have on the lives and livelihoods of all stakeholders. The existence of the JOA is not for one sport, but for all of our 51 members, âsaid Foster.
At the World Karate Championships in Dubai, for the first time in history, Jamaica was represented by three athletes – Alton Brown, Valentyna and Khalil Brown. All three athletes hold coaching licenses from the WKF and the Pan American Karate Federation (PKF).
Shihan Nathaniel Peat, Technical Director of the JKF, also expressed his joy at the news of Jamaica’s official acceptance as a member of the WKF.
âThe news that Jamaica has been accepted as a full member of the WKF came after several years of back and forth overcoming huge obstacles and setbacks,â said Peat. “This moment made me extremely proud.”