The Papua New Guinea Karate-Do Federation (PNGKF) has joined the world karate fraternity in promoting Karate for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games program. Karate narrowly lost its’ bid in 2005 and 2009 and hopes to win this time. Karate boasts 100 million karate practitioners in 185 countries around the world and believes it is ready for the Olympics. In their pursuit of getting included, Karate promoters also believe each sport has its own place at the Games. The shortlist of sports has been increased with the recent dumping of wrestling from the Olympic program that had automatically propelled it to join the shortlist. Thus, the bidding sports in alphabetical order are; baseball/softball as a joint bid, Cable Wakeboard, Karate, Roller Sports, Sports Climbing, Squash, Wrestling and Wushu (Chinese martial art). A further presentation by these sports will be made to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 26th – 31st May 2013 and the final decision on one of these sports will be announced by the IOC in Buenos Ares, Argentina in September 2013.
PNGKF President Carl Mari said they have been updated regularly by the President of World Karate Federation (WKF) Dr. Antonio Espinos from WKFs’ Headquarters in Spain on the progress of Karate’s’ preparation. The recent 41st World Karate Championships in Paris, France in November 2012 was used as a yardstick for Karate’s readiness for Olympic inclusion. An IOC delegation was there to see how far Karate has progressed in its preparation which amongst other things included assessment on; venue, competition and officiating, spectator numbers, athletes’ accommodation, and anti-doping. So far a lot of positive developments have taken place including the Sports Accord Convention in Quebec, Canada in 2012 whereby Karate was given thumps up for having a well organised demonstration event at the Sports Accord. Karate thru WKF will also take part in this year’s Sports Accord in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Every continental, regional and national karate federations are assisting in one way or another in promoting Karate’s’ bid with the theme; “The K is on the Way – Karate 2020”. This theme is now everywhere on websites, Facebook pages, posters and karate publication materials worldwide.
PNGKF joined in the Karate’s’ promotion by having an audience with the PNG Sports Federation & Olympic Committee in an orientation on the Olympic movement, regulations and other associated matters on 12th September 2012. This orientation meeting was requested by WKF on all its members throughout the world and PNGKF actually contributed in having this meeting and proceedings of which had been conveyed to WKF apart from other information that they have been facilitating to WKF over the years. PNGKF has also gone a step further by launching its own medals for athletes’ award as part of this promotion starting with the 6th PNG Open Karate Titles on 13th – 14th April 2013. It is now designing a commemorative medal to be used for the 24th PNG National Championships on 6th – 7th July 2013 in Port Moresby. The slogan “The K is on the Way – Karate 2020” is included on the obverse side of the medal. Athletes who participate and/or manage to win one of these medals will be part of Karate’s’ history worldwide in promoting Karate, especially in its bid for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics Games.
Consequently, through this exercise PNGKF has dumped the trend of buying and using generic medals from local shops for its awards. President Carl Mari said the athletes deserve valuable awards or kudos as prizes in recognition of their achievements after months and years of training for competitions. You just can’t have it in any other way; athletes deserve quality rewards for their sweat, blood and tears! Mari said.
Editor’s note: A sample of the new medals will be made available soon. Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pngwarrior) or Twitter (@png_warrior) and be in the loop.