President’s Report 2014 (By Buster Sefor)
It is with mixed feelings thatn I will be stepping down as President and from committee functions after 25 years as Secretary & President. Of course, health permitting, I will still continue kendo practice. Later tonight you will elect a new EXCO and President to serve for th next two years and I have no doubt that younger and fresher outlook will take kendo in South Africa to new heights. My congratulations in advance to the new committee.
Highlights of the Year:
We were happy to welcome Chiba sensei, Irii sensei and Ishimaru sensei from Japan and Tscherter sensei from Switzerland and Kumpf sensei from Germany to lead our Summer Seminar. With 5 x 7th dan senseis and higher (with permission from the EKF), we were able to grade up to 5th dan and it was most pleasing that Cedric Jacques passed the 5th dan exam and Henk Son from Mozambique passed the 4th dan exam.
During the year we welcomed 1 x 5th dan, 3 x 3rd dans and 5 x 1st dans. We awarded over 70 kyu grades during 2014. The South African Open Kendo Championship was won by Brendan Dateling; 2nd was Mitchel Kyle and joint 3rd were Adam Cullen and Cedric Jacques.
We sent a team of 7 to compete in the European Kendo Championships in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Once again we were unable to progress beyond the preliminary round, and once again the standard of world kendo continues to improve.
Your President attended the board meeting of the European Kendo Federation.
We continue our membership of MASA. We are part of the Japanese block comprising kendo, aikido and jujitsu. Your president is chairman of the block. SASCOC has become proactive in all sporting codes, including MASA. MASA has had to rewirite its constitution and set up Provincial structures to fall in line with SASCOC requirements for affiliation.
Currently we must be active in 5 provinces to be eligible for colours.
Finally we received LOTTO funding in tha amount of R170k for development purposes and R30k for equipment purchase to support ‘previously disadvantaged’ members. Your committee is dealing with MASA on the best use of the funding. We now need to display the LOTTO logo on all out stationery.
Your EXCO met 5 times during the year and are handling day-to-day matters via WhatsApp.
The new Groupon initiative has been launched and we await the results with interest.
A number of very successful workshops and interdojo competitions were held during the year.
The 16th World Kendo Championships will be held from the 29th to 31st May at the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. The first phase of trials to select a team for the World Championships was held on 24th January 2015.
The SAKF Annual Seminar and Open Competition and Trials will be held on the 7th & 8th February.
Your Technical Director will outline plans for seminars and events in 2015.The new SAKF T-Shirts are available for sale to members at R90.
Every indication is that we will be hosting Ajiro sensei, Chiba sensei and Irii sense again in October 2015, the first time we will have 3 x 8th dans to lead our seminar.
Finally, thank you to all the members and the EXCO committee for their support during my tenure and I wish you the best of fortune for the future.