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EAST FIFE SPORTS COUNCIL

The World Karate Federation is now a recognised Paralympic sport

Photo: Mick Billman with Bronze Medallist Derek Darvell, (Scotland) and Stephanie Connell.

On 12th June, 2015 the International Paralympic Committee Governing Board (IPC) accepted the WKF as the 30th sport discipline within the Paralympic Family.

The journey began 8 years ago in Bavaria (Germany) at the occasion of the first “Bavarian Open for Persons with Disabilities”. The then President of the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) and IOC President, Thomas Bach, attended the event, accompanied by WKF President Antonio Espinós.

Since then, the WKF has promoted this event, overseen by the former Chairman for Persons with Disabilities, Wolfgang Weigert. The first demonstration competition was held at the 2012 World Championships in Paris. This inaugural event was a great success and, after that, the first World Championships for Persons with Disabilities followed, integrated into the 2014 World Senior Championships in Bremen.

This first World Championships was attended by a great number of national and international guests, such as the Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace, Willi Lemke, highlighting the excellent performance of the WKF in this area. On this basis, the WKF were able to prepare an excellent application to the IPC Governing Board.

At the IPC Session, which will be held on 14th and 15th November 2015 in Mexico City, the recognition of WKF will be officially ratified and thereafter will aim at joining the Paralympic Programme.

From this moment in time, the WKF can now call itself a Paralympic Sport.

Congratulations must go to Wolfgang Weigert, Stephanie Nagl, and Mike Billman for their dedication in making this dream become a reality.