IKO Academy calls on Min. of Culture, Youth and Sport
The International Karate Organization [IKO] Academy of Guyana recently paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport the Honourable Charles Ramson Jr. at his office on Main Street, Georgetown.
The delegation which was led by the Chairman and Chief Instructor of the IKO Academy of Guyana Shihan Jeffrey Wong 7th Degree Black Belt also included the Vice Chief Instructor and Vice Chairman Professor Aubrey Mendonca, Vice President Waynewright Orderson, Committee Members Trevor Hurry and Eulex Stephens, and Karatekas Aliya Wong Third Dan, Tyler Orderson Third Dan, Tashana Wong Third Dan, Otto Harris Second Dan and Chelsea Ram Second Dan.
The Minister was presented with a document outlining their plans for developing the sport of Karate-do in Guyana over the next five years and beyond by Mr. Waynewright Orderson. It also contained proposals on how the Academy could collaborate with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to advance the martial art and combat sport throughout the length and breadth of Guyana.
For his part, Professor Mendonca pointed out to that contrary to the belief by some, martial arts classes do not make youngsters violent. He asserted that juvenile delinquents in Guyana could benefit from classes that will to help to rehabilitate them. Mr. Mendonca indicated that the Academy plans, with the Ministry’s permission, to provide free classes to help to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents at the Juvenile Holding Centre in Sophia and at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), Holding Centre in Essequibo, Region Two of Guyana.
Karateka Tyler Orderson in his presentation to the Minister dealt with the concept of sports tourism particularly in the discipline of karate-do and the impact it could have on the country’s economy. He shared his experiences and observations in North America and Asia and urged that Guyana give some serious attention to this niche market through the hosting of more international martial arts tournaments and training camps.
Mr. Orderson pointed to the fact that sports tourism is a growing industry around the world, with important economic implications for the sport, the event, and the impact of travel and tourism-related benefits on host destinations. He expressed the belief that sports tourism could become a viable and sustainable component of Guyana’s overall tourism product, making a tangible contribution to national development.
Another Karateka Aliya Wong underscored the benefits of karate training for the children of Guyana – helping them to build their self-confidence and emotional skills so they have the chance to reach their full potential. She proffered the desire of the IKO Academy of Guyana to introduce Karate classes into the school system through the PE curriculum all across Guyana since the physical education and sport syllabus of CSEC offered by CXC includes karate-do as one of their subject areas.
Shihan Jeffrey Wong assured the Minister that it is his intention when it is considered safe and responsible to resume training, to abide by the Ministry of Health and Government of Guyana restrictions and recommendations regarding limits on social gatherings, physical distancing and hygienic measures.
The Chief Instructor outlined to the Minister, protocols that the Academy has developed for the various clubs / dojos under its purview to reduce risk as they return to karate training during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
First, there will be the physical distancing requirements where all participants, coaches and staff must keep a physical distance of 2metres apart at all times and physical contact of any kind will not be permitted. Second, there will be the rigorous sanitation requirements for the proper sanitation of all areas within their dojos including all equipment being disinfected after each use including all high contact surfaces, such as doorknobs, counters and benches that must be wiped before the start of every class.
Additionally, all mats and washrooms will have to be sanitised daily, preferably after each session (class). Basic hygiene rules such as handwashing and not touching one’s face shall be reinforced in the clubs/dojos. Hand sanitizers will be available upon entry into the club/dojo as well as within the training areas. Third, there will be strict adherence to public gathering requirements to ensure that all dojos comply with maximum public gatherings limits.
Minister Ramson Jr. thanked the team for the visit and assured the Academy as an avid sportsman himself, of his commitment and that of his ministry to working along with all sporting bodies for the benefit of the people of Guyana.