The third edition of the Zainab Saleh International Female Open Karate Championship will hold from June 1st to 5th at the Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas Sports hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
According to sportsbiz247.blogspot.com, the competition is the “Brain Child” of Hajiya Zainab Saleh, a 4th Dan Shotokan Karateka, the sponsor and also the technical director of Lagos State Karate Association.
Speaking at a press briefing heralding this year’s edition of the event in Lagos on Saturday, Hajiya Saleh said the high rate of competitions for male karate athletes spurred her to sponsor the competition in an effort to improve the status of Nigeria’s female karate athletes.
Saleh, who acknowledged that the tournament would help the female karate athletes to improve on their technical abilities to improve their performance, added that regular competitions would encourage the athletes to win laurels at both national and international events.
She appealed to private individuals to delve into sponsorship of karate competitions to uplift the standard of karate in Nigeria.
“I decided to have only the female event because I noticed that when we have competition for both gen
der, the male events do overshadow the female event. So I decided to give the girls the opportunity to showcase their talent and achieve their dreams.
“I thank God hat I have been able to sponsor two editions of the tournament and I’m hoping that this one will be better. I have promised our women that I am going to continue by God’s grace. I hope other people will see what we have done and invest in the development of the sport,” said Saleh, who is also the Technical Director of the association.
While commending the sponsor, Hajia Saleh for her commitment, the Chairman, Lagos State Karate Association, Alfred Ohimain charged other well meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to come around and join hands with the association in order to take the sport to the next level.
In his remarks, the Senior Special Assistant on sports to Lagos state governor, Anthony Adeyinka Adeboye reiterated the commitment of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration to return sports to its enviable pride of place in the state. He said the government will continue to strive more by creating the needed environment for sports to develop in the state.