Young Ni Vanuatu urged to become future officials in Karate

NOW is the time for Ni Vanuatu young people to take up the challenge to move to become an official for karate, says an international karate technical official.

Ian Jonathan Basckin, from Australia, was appointed as the Technical Delegate Karate for the 2017 Pacific Mini Games by Oceania Karate Federation.

Ian Jonathan Basckin
Ian Jonathan Basckin

During his visit to Port Vila, Mr Basckin was delighted to meet and make new friends in karate, where he was able to share his eight years of experience in the sport. He said while he is not participating at all, he is involved in it as a passion.

“We have 15 Sport Specific Volunteers in karate for the Mini Games, and I want to teach them – not use them, but teach them – to become Vanuatu officials in the future,” he said.

“I want them to come and sit with me and Jack Manuel, the Sport Competition Manager Karate, and learn something, so that when we leave on December 10, 2017, these people can run tournaments.

“Let that benefit extend after the Games! I want to leave a bit of legacy. For me, the worst frustration would be, come December 31, all is forgotten, all for nothing!”

As a parent, Mr Basckin said he could not stand and watch one of his sons, who is now 20 years old, competing in karate tournaments, so he started marshalling people. From there, he got involved in regional championships as self-funded Technical Official or Team Manager, through Karate Federations from Australia, New Caledonia and Oceania.

The TD Karate said he is confident this Mini Games can be used as a catalyst for change in Vanuatu karate development, and encouraged Ni Vanuatu to grab this opportunity to be part of this historic sporting event as a volunteer on whatever job they do, to improve the national level of karate.

“I would rather get more officials upgraded in Vanuatu than worry about coaches and athletes. Because if we can get the officials right and referees, then at least we can have a tournament. It doesn’t matter if you have the best coach to produce the athletes, if nobody can judge them, if nobody can run the tournament, then the argument about who is the best stays in the bar,” he said.

“Now, it is time for all Pacific Countries put hands together, share their resources, and help each other  to build up,  get more exchange,  and I am pretty sure, it will  help  a lot. Right now, if you continue to stay back and wait, you – Federations o Clubs- will not prosper, will not improve or move one step higher. We all have our own challenges, but there is always solution if we come together, and help each other.”

Mr Basckin announced that in 2018, there will be several karate championships that he will be running through the year, and an invitation is open for a Vanuatu karate team to take part for further upgrade in the New Caledonia Tournament in March, as well as the Australian Championships in April, and the Oceania championships in Auckland, New Zealand in May.

“I would also add that the Venue for karate competitions for the Mini Games is perfect for the Sport. And in terms of preparation, I would say I am blown away – the status of facilities is fantastic.

“We need to make sure it is to be used and continues to be used post-Games.

“What I would like Vanuatu to do is, for example within the karate space, to put a bid for the 2020 Oceania Karate Championships. I would certainly support that within my relationships within the Federations, and in a venue like that, it could host a fantastic event.

“You have got the facilities – let’s use them. That is my biggest message!”