The Karate Federation of Nigeria (KFN) yesterday renewed its appeal to telecommunication establishments and private individuals in the country to respond positively to its call for sponsorship deals in 2013.
Clement Iyaluegbeghe, secretary of the federation said in a telephone interview in Lagos that their sponsorships would help to revive the federation's yearly programmes.
Iyaluegbeghe said that although the federation extended its appeal to various corporate bodies in the country, the telecommunication sector was in a better financial position to assist the federation.
"Lack of sponsorship is a major problem rocking the sport and I am making an earnest appeal to telecommunication firms and philanthropists to give positive response to our requests," he said.
Iyaluegbeghe said that due to poor sponsorship, the federation lacked the required funds to execute its programmes, thereby keeping the athletes at a standstill.
"The situation is really affecting our athletes because there are no contests to appraise their skills and performances," he added.
Iyaluegbegbe said that the body had visited various private and public organisations with letters, seeking for sponsorships to enable them organise competitions, but ended up with empty promises.
"We approach companies with letters to support us with funds and gifts so that our proposed yearly programmes could be executed, but we have ended up with the companies giving us unfilled promises," he said.
According to him, the circumstances at the federation has prompted some athletes to shift to other martial art sports, which he said was not good for the development of the sport in the country.
"The situation has forced many of our athletes to develop their skills in other martial art sports, making it difficult for us to groom young and talented athletes to replace the aged ones," Iyaluegbeghe added.
The secretary noted that required sponsorships would enhance the federation's yearly programme for the growth of its athletes, coaches and other stakeholders in the game.
He then called on state associations in each of the six geo-political zones in the country to partner and organise a series of grassroots championships in their zones for the growth of the sport. NAN