Lagos came to a standstill, last Saturday, July 8, during the maiden edition of the Under 18 Karate championship which was held at Rowe Park, Yaba, Lagos.
Lot of champions were discovered at the championship to mention few. Jamal Akeem category 6 and under male Gold. Somelo Osielo category 7 to 8 female gold. Odi Redah category 9 to 10 green belt male 1 gold and silver. Hene Bassey category 7 to 8 green belt female gold. Esther Ndukwe category 8 to 9 orange belt female gold. Nwane Nnonye category 11 – 12 orange belt female and kumite 2 gold medal. Samchi Karate Academy won overall in the Lagos U-I8 Karate championship with 7 gold, 5 silver and 8 bronze medal.
The event, which featured 16 categories, was sponsored by Mavrodi Mondial Movement (MMM), in conjunction with the Lagos State government witnessed a large turnout as youths from primary and secondary schools across the state converged for the event.
Speaking, winner in the under 15 category, Dauda Muba said: “I am very grateful to God for my victory. I am very passionate about karate and I want to thank the Lagos State government and MMM for giving me this opportunity. I appreciate the academy for the support (Name of the academy). I feel fulfilled and grateful to God. I am dreaming of making Nigeria proud at the Olympics someday.”
Bakare Suleiman, Vice Chairman, Nigerian Referee Karate Commission, described the championships 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.”
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 targeting the youths of the state
He said: “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. Any talent discovered will be closely monitored so that they will be able to represent Lagos State in any event. This programme is going to be a continuous affair in order to make sure the youth and by extension the state benefits.
The organizer of the event, Sensei Adejebe Samuel, Founder of Samchi Karate academy and also the coordinator of Japan (Nihon) Karate-Do Seikokai Suzuki-Ha Shito-Ryu Nigeria branch stated that the objective is to discover and nurture fresh talent..
“Today, Karate is an Olympics sports so the need to catch them young cannot be over-empahsised. We need to start preparing them for the Olympics so that we can help them grow and win medals for the country.”
Our aim is by catching on them at an early stage with a vision of getting the sport become a familiar art in the schools all over by making the art go in tandem with education and also helping upcoming generation achieve their full potential through Karate training.
It has been a mission accomplish for me seeing the youth happy at the Karate championship. It’s something they have been longing for and MMM has made it possible. The youth has been training from year to year but no platform to showcase the skills they have developed.
Commending MMM and Lagos state sports commission for the support Adejebe continued:“I will like to appreciate MMM for making this dream possible. I have been trying to partner Lagos State sports commission for a while but we were unable to because there was no fund but MMM came along and picked up the tab.
“The Lagos State sports commission has also been very supportive.
We want it to be an annual event so we are calling on MMM to support us beyond today.”
I’m greatful to everyone who has made it possible. Parents, schools, clubs, coaches , medias, our national Karate officials and our sponsor MMM.
I can’t wait for the next edition of the Under 18 Karate championship.
While expressing gratitude to MMM for bankrolling Lagos Samchi Karate championship, Adejebe Sensei appealed to other sports loving corporate groups and individuals to fully participant in Karate development in the country. We need more sponsors in Karate he emphasized.
Speaking Amaka Benson, Offline Secretary & Events Co-coordinator, MMM said that sponsoring the project is in line with the charity vision of MMM adding that MMM has carried out a good number of charity drives in Nigeria through partnerships with NGOPs initiatives targeted at alleviating poverty.
“We are privileged to have sponsored the Lagos State Under 18 Karate Championship. It is a privilege that the Lagos State government partnered us. I am so happy that we have been able to inspire the kids today.”
Among others, Chuddy Ugorji, MMM’s number 1 guider in Nigeria and Amaka Benson also received awards courtesy of Lagos State Karate /Samchi Karate Academy.