Shihan Remigiusz Karpiński, president of the Polish Shinkyokushinkai Karate Federation on the circumstances of awarding the organization of the 7th World Karate Championships in Weight Categories to Poland and the importance of the event.
Under what circumstances was Poland awarded the organization of the 7th World Karate Championships in Weight Categories?
The World Karate Organization sent a letter in 2016, before the championship in Astana, with the information that they are looking for a candidate to organize the next tournament. At that time, a meeting was held in Warsaw, where we analyzed our possibilities, and the decision of the national authorities of our organization was made to prepare the documentation and submit our candidacy. We made every effort to ensure that our multimedia presentation and other materials in which we presented our organizational skills were as good as possible. During the World Championships in Astana in 2017, a meeting of the board of the World Karate Organization was held, during which the applications were considered. Brazil also applied to host the event. After our presentation, the representative of Brazil, full of appreciation for what he saw, announced that he was withdrawing his country’s candidacy in favor of Poland.
Why was Kielce chosen?
Originally, we planned to organize a tournament in Warsaw, but during the talks, we came to the conclusion that in such a large city the World Karate Championships may disappear in the crowd of other events. The Torwar hall, which is a good facility for this type of events, was taken into account. An additional argument was that in Warsaw we may encounter difficulties in obtaining funds for our project. At that time, we focused our attention on Kielce. In this city, we have positive people willing to work. There are favorable conditions here, and very good contacts with the city and voivodeship authorities. Deputy Minister of Sport and Tourism Anna Krupka, who is an MP from Świętokrzyskie, the Marshal’s Office of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, the Świętokrzyskie Voivode and the Kielce City Hall, support us during the preparations, and this is very important in such a large project.
Originally, the World Cup was scheduled to take place in 2021.
Yes it’s true. Due to the pandemic, the tournament did not take place then and we faced a choice: either to quit the organization or try to postpone the date. We submitted a proposal to postpone the date to the WKO and its authorities supported our position at the next meeting of the board. Therefore, we continued the work related to the preparations.
Has this situation affected the preparation process itself?
We see a change in the situation of sponsors and their activity. Compared to the years 2016 and 2017, when the decision was made to grant us the competition organization, we observe a decrease in the involvement of companies. The pandemic situation has stopped, but the financial possibilities of many entities make it difficult or even impossible to support sports events. However, we are working with great determination to complete this project and to ensure that the tournament is at the highest level. We have been involved in this since 2016, when the decision was made to submit our candidacy. So, for over five years we have had the World Championships project in mind.
What is the nature of the 7th World Weight Karate Championships?
This is an ,,Olympic” event in the karate world. We don’t organize a tournament for younger competitors and kids in order to get the highest sports level. Representatives of 10 regions into which the World Karate Organization is divided and within which the qualifications were held during the last three years will come to Kielce. In total, it will be 179 competitors from around the world. Due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Russian players were excluded from the tournament. The participants will come from WKO regions which include Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Japan is also a separate region.
What benefits will the tournament in Kielce bring, apart from the possibility of watching a great sports spectacle?
I think mostly promotional. Every region, every city, province, and club seeks promotion, and promotion through sport is the best option. In addition, as part of the championship, an international seminar for karate practitioners will be held. The best instructors from all over the world will conduct training for fighters and adepts of this martial art in several training sessions. I invite everyone to the great event – the 7th World Karate Championships in Weight Categories in Kielce.