ZNKF to introduce league | The Herald

The Herald

Ellina Mhlanga  Senior Sports Reporter 

THE president of the Zimbabwe National Karate Federation Joe Rugwete has said they are introducing a league to promote competition for their affiliates. 

The league is also expected to help prepare athletes for events such as the African Union Sports Council Region Five Karate Championships.

Zimbabwe are hosting the regional championships this year due to take place from May 25 to 28 in Bulawayo.

ZNKF are also hopeful of their athletes taking part of Team Zimbabwe for the African Games in Ghana later in the year. 

“We are introducing a league with a point system for our athletes. So this league for us, what we have done, we have approached each and every one of our affiliates to host an event this year.

“So we have spread these events from the 4th of February. It will run until December. So every month we have an event from each style.

“2023 is going to be an incubation phase, we are starting to put all systems and structures in place. It’s like a test phase for our new league.

“We want to start building our referees’ commission and we are making it mandatory for each affiliate to provide technical officials. 

“We want to introduce a new administration system that each head of our affiliates be a member of the executive bureau. It will be chaired by the (national federation’s) president and will review the state of the organisation. So these are some of the things we want to introduce in 2023,” said Rugwete.

They are looking at engaging with Nash, Naph and Zimbabwe Tertiary Institutions Sports Union (ZTISU). 

The national association have begun preparations for the African Union Sports Council Region Five Karate Championships after recently getting government’s approval through the Sports and Recreation Commission to host. 

“The preparations are in two-fold. One — preparations to host and two — preparations for our team to participate. 

“So we are splitting our two teams, the other one will be the organising committee to host and then the other one will be the technical committee to prepare the team. 

“So the technical committee is made up of provincial technical directors and provincial head coaches and the executive committee will be the organising committee,” said Rugwete. 

The league will present a platform for team selection and preparation. They will also have provincial squad training, building up to the finalisation of the final team.

The ZNKF president said hosting the regional competition presents them an opportunity to expose more of their athletes to a bigger and better competition. 

“We are hosting so we are going to field a big team. At least one athlete for each category. So we are talking of about 100 athletes because the hosting country is allowed to enter four athletes per category and the rest two athletes per category. Each host has a waiver to field two more athletes

“We also chose Bulawayo as a venue to break away from the tradition that Harare usually hosts major events. So we also wanted to decentralise and bring sport to other areas,” said Rugwete. 

An estimated 500 participants from Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and hosts Zimbabwe are expected to take part.

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