Dar es Salaam. The national karate team’s preparations for the Gichin Funakoshi World Championship received a boost over the weekend when the Filipino Community in Tanzania (FCT) donated Sh1 million to the squad.
The team starts training in the city this week ahead of the championship to be held in Ireland in September.
FCT president Genievive Coppard said her community would like to see the karatekas undergo adequate preparations for the global event.
“We have noted that many Tanzanians are now playing karate and they are performing impressively in both local and international competitions,” said Coppard.
She said the community felt proud to be associated with promotion of the sport in Tanzania.
JKA Tanzania chief instructor Jerome Mhagama thanked the Filipino community for the timely support, saying it will boost the morale of the team.
“We are overjoyed at this support and we’re hoping to have good relationship with the community,” said Mhagama.
“We’ve few sponsors and the coming in of the FCT has added some glamour to our beloved sport,” he said. Mhagama asked other organisations to follow suit, saying success in sports was always the outcome of cooperation between sports leaders and stakeholders, including the business community.
He said they would use the money to, among other things, buy sports gear for the national team.
Senior members of the national men’s karate team expected to report at camp this week are Mikidadi Kilindo, Justine Limwagu, Lawrence Mapunda, Rutashobya Ringo, Abdallah Maulid and Selemani Mkalola (all from Dares Salaam).
Also on the list are Dominick Dominic, Dennis Joachin, Seveliani Dagila (Morogoro), Amran Said (Zanzibar); Mkalola Dominic, Limwangu and Ringo Maulid.
Others are Omar Magingo, Kombo Kombo, Bady Mlangai, Christopher Wende, Eliasa Nguyu, Lister Katamila and Geofrey Mwakaposa.
Members of the junior team are Emmanuel Serafin (Morogoro), Ishaq Kamote (Tanga), Yadu Krishna, Druv Kapur (Dar es Salaam) and Gasper Serafin (Morogoro).
Mhagama said the team will be under the tutelage of Ringo Rwezaula. For the Tanzanian karatekas, the Ireland championship will be part of their preparations ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Tokyo games will feature five new sports, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The sports are baseball, climbing, surfing, karate and skateboarding.