In another first for the Van2017 Pacific Mini Games, two Ni Vanuatu have become qualified as karate referees.
Kevin Kausiama from Tanna /Pentecost and Marcel Yawiko from Tanna Island were selected by the Vanuatu Karate Federation to represent Vanuatu at the Pacific Cup karate championship in New Caledonia from July 4-10, attending the training and competition.
The Sport Competition Manager (SCM) Karate for Van2017, Jack Manuel, said the selection was based on their seniority – their level of grade being currently in Dan, a grade after passing the Black Belt level, their qualifications in regional and international competitions, and also on merit.
“It is a milestone in the history of karate in Vanuatu,” he said.
“I was so impressed by their performances at the Pacific Cup, because they did very well in theory and also in practical sessions. I received positive feedback from the Secretary General of Oceania Karate, Adam Minster, who was also astonished by the two Ni Vanuatu.
“This is a source of great pride because now they are qualified and have obtained their Oceania Pacific Referee Badge, and have their licence to officiate in any competitions of the World Karate Federation (WKF) and Oceania Karate Federation (OKF).”
Mr Manuel said that with this qualification, Kevin and Marcel could now officiate at international karate competitions in both category Kata and Kumite – two of the main sections of karate training – while other existing referees are restricted to one category.
“Thanks to Van2017 to fund this training for both of them in collaboration with the Vanuatu Karate Federation,” he said.
A press release said Marcel Yawiko is currently a karate instructor, and Kevin was a karate medallist in three Oceania Championships where he won a Bronze medal in 2000 in New Caledonia and Bronze medals in 2004 in Australia and in 2006 in New Caledonia. In 2003, Kevin won a silver medal at the Pacific Games in Fiji.
“Their passion and commitment in the development of this sport discipline have convinced the National Karate Federation to set eyes on them,” said Mr Manuel.
The 2017 Pacific Mini Games will be their second regional event to officiate as international referees, following the Pacific Cup in New Caledonia.
Source: Loop Vanuatu