Karate Federation Saint Lucia embarked on its journey to the 2020 Olympics on Saturday 4th March 2017 when selected athletes from its affiliate members participated in the first National squad training session at the Entrepot Human Resource Development Center.
The athletes were addressed by the president of the Federation, Oliver Lawrence, the Technical director Ezra Jn Baptiste, and the coaches appointed by the National Executive Committee, Michael Wellington (kumite coach) and Ezra Jn Baptiste (kata coach).
The president congratulated the athletes on their nomination to the squad and reminded them of the goal ahead and the high level of commitment required to achieve the goal. The technical director and kata coach also commended the athletes for taking up the challenge to place Saint Lucia on the map in 2020 and reminded them of the team approach which is required in order to achieve that goal. The kumite coach provided a brief over of the training programme that he has outlined for the next 10 weeks.
After introductions and remarks by the coaches, the athletes were taken through some basic kumite routines by the kumite coach. The kata coach made a few brief comments on the kata performances by selected athletes.
After the brief performances, athletes were invited to share their expectations regarding the squad training. They all noted the importance of commitment to the task ahead. The technical director provided an overview of the road map to 2020 Olympics in Japan. The technical director, Ezra Jn Baptiste, reminded the athletes of the upcoming Pan American karate federation championship scheduled to take place in curacao from 23 to 27 may 2017 and that Saint Lucia’s participation in the event is critical to moving forward to the 2020 Olympics. Two other critical events in this regard are the Central American and Caribbean games in Colombia in 2018, and the Pan American Karate Federation championship in 2019 in Peru.
A programme of training will be unveiled at the next federation national squad training session scheduled for 11 March 2017. The national squad will be reduced to a National team that will undergo more intense preparations for the championship event in curacao in May 2017. A national representative team will be chosen to participate in that event. Additionally, technical and administrative officers of the federation will be selected to participate in coaching and refereeing courses, and matters pertaining to the governance of the pan American karate federation (the congress).
Other activities on the federation’s programme for 2017 include a panel discussion on the topic: how can karate-do contribute to personal and national development; launch of a newsletter; youth karate camp; national martial arts festival; National Tournament.