THE Lagos State and Mavrodi Mondial Movement (MMM) Under 18 Karate Championship ended during the week at the Rowe Park Sports Complex, Yaba, Lagos with Samchi Karate Academy of Lagos emerging champions.
Samchi Academy dazzled Karatekas from other states by winning 7 gold, 5 silver and 9 bronze medals in the event which featured 16 categories.
The champions discovered at the event include; Jamal Akeem, gold in category 6 and under male, Somelo Osielo gold in category 7 to 8 female, Odi Redah gold and silver in category 9 to 10 green belt male, Hene Bassey gold in category 7 to 8 green belt female, Esther Ndukwe gold, in category 8 to 9 orange belt female, Nwane Nnonye 2 gold medal in category 11 – 12 orange belt female and kumite. Speaking after the event, winner in the under 15 category, Dauda Muba said: “I am very passionate about karate and I want to thank the Lagos State government and MMM for giving me this opportunity.”
In the same vein, organizer of the event, Sensei Adejebe Samuel, Founder of Samchi Karate Academy and coordinator Japan (Nihon) Karate-Do Seikokai Suzuki-Ha Shito-Ryu Nigeria branch, stated that the objective is to discover and nurture future talents.
“Today, Karate is an Olympic sport so the need to catch them young cannot be over-emphasised. We need to start preparing them for the Olympics so that we can help them grow and win medals for the country.”
Louis Olusegun Kolawole, Director of Sports, speaking on why the Lagos State government partnered MMM said it was because the Lagos State government is ready to partner any individual or group with developmental initiatives targeted at the youths of the state.
“The Lagos state Under 18 Karate Championship is one of such programmes and that fits into the vision of the Lagos State government because it promotes the youths in Lagos State.
Bakare Suleiman, Vice Chairman, Nigerian Referee Karate Commission, described the championship as a welcome development: “It is something we are all happy to witness. The children will benefit a lot because this gives them the opportunity to showcase what they have learnt in different belt categories. It is a stepping stone in the right direction.”