Kendo Association of Malawi (KAM) has all the reasons to smile after Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Shuichiro Nishioka, on Saturday donated various equipment to the association.
Nishioka made the donation during a tournament between local kendo players and their Japanese counterparts at Blantyre Youth Centre which the visitors won.
The donation included 10 sets of brand-new equipment; 10 sets of second-hand equipment and 20 bamboo swords (shinai).
Speaking after presenting the donation, Nishioka said he was concerned with the challenges that kendo players face in the country.
He was, however, quick to commend the players for their dedication to the sport and outstanding discipline, which he said has encouraged the Japanese Embassy and other Japanese institutions to support kendo in Malawi.
He described this year’s championship as special because it coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) program.
“This championship is therefore, like a celebration of the positive impact of the JOCV program at the grassroots level because it was through a JOCV member called Mr. Nakagawa that the sport of kendo was actually introduced to Malawi more than 20 years ago,” he said.
He also pledged continued support to the sport through the Sport for Tomorrow Initiative. n