x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Martial arts seek backing

The UAE Takewondo and Karate Federation has asked for Dh4 million from the government to popularise martial arts in the country.

DUBAI // The UAE Takewondo and Karate Federation has asked for Dh4 million from the government to popularise martial arts in the country. The money would be used to improve facilities, buy equipment and hire coaches. "The number of participants is increasing gradually," said Daeej Raisi, the vice-president of the federation. "But I believe we still need to make a bigger push in some parts of the country, and show greater support for the children. We need to provide them with proper martial arts equipment.

"We have also been visiting the schools to promote the sport. We have also organised training camps for schoolchildren during the summer vacations. "This amount will help the federation and the team to be stable, to implement our plans and continue along the path of progress. "Karate has a chance of becoming an Olympic sport, so we are hoping to have more participants. That is one of our top goals.

"We want someone from the country to qualify if karate makes its debut at the Olympics." A good performance from the national team at the Asian Senior Championships, in China, later this month and the World Youth Championships, in Morocco, would go a long way to convincing officials to approve the karate budget. "We got the gold kata and kumite gold medals at the last Gulf Championships," added Raisi.

"Hopefully we can have similar success at the Asian. We will try our best. We always wish them the best and they will have all the support they need." arizvi@thenational.ae