Reflecting back 3 years ago, the President for PNGKF Carl Mari invited me up to set up and develop a Karate National Squad leading towards the Pacific Games. There were approximately 60 athletes vying for 21 positions. The first year was very testing, due to the lack of familiarity with the World Karate Federation procedures and rules. However the co-operation of the regional Instructors made it easier for me by giving me full autonomy which I was grateful for.
In year 2 the progress was improving as was the athletes’ ability, due to better Tournament organization, although I was still very frustrated with the lack of punctuality and technical dysfunction. During the third year I could see a remarkable improvement in most of the Squad, having taken them overseas to various International Tournaments and coming away with medals. Even their punctuality improved!
Three months before the Pacific Games training became more intense with input from the High Performance Centre.
I closely monitored the Squad’s progress for the final cut of 21 Athletes. The improvement of the PNGKF team, from the previous International competition where they came bottom of the table, to ascend to 3rd place at the Pacific Games was a remarkable achievement.
In the two day event performances from some of the individuals were outstanding and justifiably were rewarded with Gold and Silver medals. The last three years have been a platform for the PNGKF to build on and make further progress for the World Championships.