Chief Referee of the Nigerian Karate Referee Commission (NKRC), Shihan Olusegun Akinola (7th Dan) has become the first Nigerian and only Black African appointed a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF) Referees Commission.
Shihan Olusegun Akinola is currently attending the ongoing 2023 World Senior Karate Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
Akinola, the Secretary General of UFAK Referee Commission, expressed pride in representing Nigeria, West Africa, and Africa on the WKF Referee Commission.
He explained that plans are underway to encourage and train more Nigeria referees to aspire to become continental and world referees.
Akinola said, “On the 25th of May, I was appointed a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF) Referees Commission. This is the highest appointment by a West African from our Region and I am currently the only Black African serving on the Referees Commission at the WKF.
“There are only 2 Africans on the Referee Commission at the moment. Mr Zitouni Metyout of Morocco and myself from Nigeria. It is a thing of honour and pride to represent Nigeria, West Africa and Africa on the World Karate Federation Referee Commission.
“I hope we can encourage and train more referees to aspire to become continental and world referees as this will improve the sport of Karate in Nigeria”, he added.
Akinola revealed that he attended his first world championship as a referee in 2006 at Tampere Finland.
He said, “My first refereeing at the World Championship was in 2006 in Tampere Finland. Since then I have officiated at different World Karate Championships in different continents.
“In that time I have also been a resource person for the African Karate Federation and World Karate Federation (WKF) organising courses and coordinating Championships in different regions of Africa.
“My first attendance as World Karate Federation Referee Commission Member is at the ongoing World Karate Championships in Budapest”.
Shihan Olusegun Akinola 7th Dan is currently occupying the following positions: Chairman/Chief Referee Nigeria Karate Referee Commission (NKRC), President West African Zone of the Union of African Karate Federations (UFAK) Referee Commission and Secretary General Union of African Karate Federations (UFAK) Referee Commission.