By Joy Odor
The Karate Federation of Nigeria (KFN) through the Nigerian University Karate Association (NUKA) and in collaboration with the University of Ilorin successfully organized the 3rd Edition of the All-Nigerian University Open Karate Championship from 9-12, August, 2021.
There were a total of 71 entries from 7 Universities. However, 19 other universities could not attend the event due to one reason or the other. 71 competitors were accredited and competed.
The Nigerian Karate Referee Commission (NKRC) officiated at the event with about 16 certified referees to maintain standard competition rules in line with the mandate of the World Karate Federation (WKF).
The passion and quality of Karate displayed at the 3rd All-Nigerian Universities Open Karate Championship was impressive but leaves room for improvement in the training of athletes.
However, out of the 71 athletes that competed, 5 had been discovered amongst whom are all the Medallists at this year’s event.
The names of these athletes will be submitted to the KFN Youth and School Sports Committee and Grassroots Department of the Ministry of Youth and Sport Development for onward monitoring and support.
University of Benin came out tops with 8 gold medals, 6 Silver and 9 bronze medals, while second place goes to hosts University of Ilorin with 5 gold medals, 4 silver and 10 bronze medals, Fed University of Agric. Makurdi finished in third with one gold medal, University of Abuja had 3 silver and 2 bronze medals while Delta State University finished with 1 silver and 2 bronze medals, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, PH and Kwara state University finished with no medals.
Chairman Nigerian University Karate Mr Femi Johnson said, “The performance of athletes was very promising with room for wider participation in subsequent editions. Our plan is to increase the capacities of University Coaches through continuous training, make the University Karate Championship bi-annual, improve on training facilities and explore international training opportunities for athletes.
The 3rd Edition of the University Karate Championship albeit several challenges were successful. However, there is an urgent need to galvanize and encourage University Karate Coaches to amplify the standards of competing athletes.
The event achieved its purpose of providing a platform for exposing talented young Karate players to a high-level competitive experience and in the process discover promising athletes amongst them.