Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture says it cannot support all sporting activities in the country and that is why it appreciates the help it gets from other partners such as the Japanese Embassy.
The ministry’s Principal Secretary Chauncy Simwaka said this on Saturday at the end of a Karate Championship organised by the Japanese Embassy at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
This is the third year running that the embassy is sponsoring the Karate Championship where karatekas from different dojos compete.
“I would like to thank the Japanese Embassy for continuing to sponsor karate in the country. As government we cannot support all sporting activities. We pledge to work hand in hand with the embassy and other stakeholders to develop karate in the country,” said Simwaka.
He urged karate authorities and players to guard the sponsorship, saying it is not easy to find sponsorship these days.
In her speech, Japanese Ambassador Kae Yanagisawa said she was delighted that karate is growing fast in the country.
“I hear this year we had karatekas from Blantyre, Salima, Dowa and Lilongwe and that the number was bigger than last year,” she said.
Yanagisawa said in karate, tough physical fighting is one aspect, but the sport also teaches one to be polite, generous and to respect others.
“That is why karate is a sport for all, including children, youths and adults, male or female. It is in this regard that the Japanese Embassy will continue to support karate in the country. It is my hope that through this championship, more people will be encouraged to join karate,” she said.
Nine-year-old Siphiwe Mwampita said she was encouraged to join karate by her father and that she is enjoying the sport and has made a lot of new friends.
This year’s tournament drew 72 participants.
In the adult category one, the winner was Herive Ikunda, followed by Mussa Saidi and Chikondi Phiri, respectively.
Yusuf Corto emerged winner in adult two section, Mike Mwalwimba was the runner-up while Dalitso Maloko was third.
In adult category three, Chikondi Mwamlima emerged the champion, William Layfora was second while Mike Nyirenda came third.
Martin Chingaipe won the junior category one, Siphiwe Mwampita was second and Khuzwayo Jalare came third.
Junior category two was won by Kelvin Beninie, Mafunanse Kuwali was second while Harsh Hinagrajra emerged third. Winners were awarded certificates, medals and trophies.