THE Zimbabwe Karate Union will bring the curtain down on their 2012 programme when they stage the champion of champions tournament in Kwekwe, which will be their last semi-contact event for this year.
The competition, which usually caters for individuals is targeting provinces and will see each province fielding a men and women's team with the men's team being made up of five-fighters while for women it will be three karatekas. The juniors are the only group that will compete in individual events from seven to 17years age-group.
The tournament begins today with a referees' course to prepare the officials with the actual competition starting tomorrow at Kwekwe Sports Club.
ZKU president, Joe Rugwete said instead of having individual events for the seniors they have decided to hold a team event in an effort to promote the sport in all provinces.
"This time styles are not important. We are targeting provincial teams for the seniors and in the individual competition we are going to have juniors only.
"The reason behind this is we are trying to decentralise karate to all provinces. We have Harare they are going to field more than two teams, Mashonaland Central, Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland West are also sending their teams. Some provinces are sending individuals at junior level," said Rugwete.
Rugwete said they are expecting a tough competition, as the tournament will be used for selection of national teams.
"This will increase the level of competition because we are also moving towards a panel that selects national team members. Usually the coach and national technical director are responsible for choosing the national team but we are now saying if one cannot make it into the provincial team selected then they cannot make it into the national teams.
"This will raise the level of competition because everyone wants to be part of that team," said Rugwete.
The ZKU president said they are re-launching the technical board during Saturday's tournament.
"We are re-launching our technical board which is in charge of selecting national teams. The board will be chaired by national technical director Paul Danisa, Eugene Moody the referees commission chairman and the technical directors in the provinces.
"We are also going to appoint two other people into the same board at this tournament and have a technical board meeting as we look into next year. We are looking at development of technical directors and coaches. There will be one athlete from the athletes' commission who will represent the needs of athletes," said Rugwete.
The teams will battle it out on a round robin format and the team, which would have won most matches, will claim the championship.