Karate SA boss keeps world championships in sight
Karate SA (KSA) head Sonny Pillay is pushing his dream of hosting a world championships, telling delegates in Durban for the Southern African championships this weekend he wants to bid for the 2024-2025 global tournament.
Pillay, who had previously spoken about targeting the 2023 championships, which have since been awarded to Budapest, also secured the continental championships in Durban for the end of the year.
“We can confirm that Karate SA has expressed special interest in making a bid and hosting the World Karate Federation’s prestige World Cup tournament in Durban along the Indian Ocean shorelines and within the Sadc [Southern African Development Community] cluster of sister-friendly countries,” Pillay said at a press conference this week before the tournament.
“If we are able to manage this and the summer championships professionally, expertly and collectively within the spirit of the African bloc, there will be no doubt that SA could emerge firm favourites to host the biggest, prized karate tournament.”
KSA is affiliated to the WKF which is responsible for Olympic rules karate.
Tournament spokesperson Marlan Padayachee said the success of the championships could be the acid test for the region after a site inspection of the award-winning Durban ICC and visits to tourist hotspots by visiting heads of delegation.
Tournaments and championships in coming years — including the Africa summer tournament — and partnerships with the eThekwini municipality, the KwaZulu-Natal government, corporate and private sectors, businesses and non-governmental organisations augured well for the international grand prix of martial arts.
‘’Durban’s bid is integral to the new initiative to embrace the Indian Ocean Rim island-nations and to raise the flag of karate higher within Sadc.’’
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