World Karate Federation (WKF), the international governing body of the sport, has partnered with Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport to jointly promote and grow karate for people with an intellectual impairment.
WKF and Virtus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see both organisations work together towards the development and implementation of strategies and karate programmes for people with intellectual impairments. Furthermore, WKF and Virtus will work to promote awareness and integration within their member organizations.
WKF president, Antonio Espinos said “The development of Para-Karate is very important for the WKF. Ever since the Para-Karate categories were created, and Para-Karate competitions were included at our World Championships, the modalities of Para-Karate have registered exponential growth. I am sure that our agreement with Virtus will be a step forward in our intention to maximise opportunities in the development of Karate for people with an intellectual impairment, and that our cooperation will set the foundation for greater recognition of the modality of Para-Karate.’
Virtus President, Marc Truffaut, said ‘we are excited to welcome World Karate Federation into the Virtus family. We value and appreciate our growing collaborations with International Federations and the partnership work to grow sport for athletes with an intellectual impairment’.
WKF will implement a new intellectual impairment class into its future Regional, National and World championships and Virtus agrees to sanction all WKF approved events and both organisations will work together to deliver seminars and clinics for both officials and coaches each year. As WKF becomes a member of Virtus, WKF will hold a seat on the Virtus Sport council, as a part of the accord.
WKF join a growing number of sports with whom Virtus have established a Memorandum of Understanding and the announcement comes shortly ahead of the launch of the new Virtus strategic plan which includes a target to work in partnership with the International Federations of sport and other organisations to maximise inclusion and opportunity. “By working collaboratively we reach more athletes in more nations” explained Marc Truffaut. “There are many people with an intellectual impairment who still do not have access to regular organised sport, and projects like this help us to overcome those barriers and hurdles. I look forward to seeing our partnership grow in the years ahead”.