Rwanda Karate Federation (Ferwaka) is leaving no stone unturned as it bids to ensure that the martial arts sport joins the country’s elite sports disciplines – soccer, volleyball, cycling, tennis, athletics and basketball.
The six sports disciplines, which were formally acknowledged during the reign of former Sports and Culture minister Joseph Habineza a few years back, generally enjoy more government recognition and support than other disciplines.
However, the Karate federation is mulling a strategic plan that will ensure that the sport is equally recognised in the country.
“We are working on having a strong structure and representation countrywide as well as a strong national competition; after that, we’ll step up our presence at the regional level with a view of being among the top two in Zone Five and top 10 in Africa,” said (Ferwaka) Technical Director Guy Didier Rurangayire, also a fourth dan black belt Karate instructor.
He added, “Everything will be included in a strategic plan, including the financial aspect.”
Zone V comprises of Rwanda, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea.
About 100 secondary schools as well as six universities have embraced Karate in recent years. The Ministry of Education has for the past three years recognised inter-school Karate championships.
According to Rurangayire, there are Karate clubs in Musanze, Rubavu, Gicumbi, Ngoma, Huye, Nyamagabe, Muhanga, Nyamasheke, Rusizi, Rwamaga, and Nyagatare districts.
The national junior Karate team recently started preparations for the World Juniors and Cadet Karate Championships 2013 set for November 7-10, in Guadalajara, Spain. It will attract about 100 countries.