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6/20/2020
IKA - TD / CAMPAIGN:INTERVIEW WITH MR . Bill Barnard Vice President of Kurash South Africa
IKA - TD / CAMPAIGN:INTERVIEW WITH MR . Bill Barnard Vice President of Kurash South Africa

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF

My name is Bill Barnard.  I’m a self employed Auto Electrical technician.

PLEASE TELL US BRIEFLY ABOUT YOUR SPORT ACTIVITIES IN SPORT?

I have started my Judo career at the age of 9 years. I am still involved till today, as referee and coach.  I was Vise Chairman in Sedibeng Gauteng Judo andnow Technical Director.In 2016 I was manager and coach to the visually impaired team at the Common Wealth games in Port Elizabeth. I am also involved in Kurash SA as Vice President of Kurash South Africa, and Chairman of Sedibeng Gauteng. I am ten years involved in Kurash and attended 10 African Championships around Africa as a Continental Referee, and I had the opportunity to be a referee at the World`s Championships in Istanbul, Turkey in 2017. 

WHERE ARE YOU BASED AT?

I live in Vereeniging, Gauteng, South Africa.

HOW IS THE KURASH OPERATION SYSTEM IN YOUR COUNTRY?  AS FAR AS I KNOW KURASH IS NOT FEDERATION.  HOW DO YOU OPERATE ALONE OR WITH OTHER SPORTS?

Kurash is not a standalone federation in South Africa.  Initially it was part of judo and in 2009 Kurash broke away from Judo South Africa as an independent federation. Due to the National Olympic Council regulations Kurash was grouped under Martial ArtsSouth Africa (MASA) as a National Federation. MASA is the recognized body by the Olympic council of South Africa (SASCOC). Individual recognition depends on IOC and Sport Accord recognition of Kurash.

Kurash SA was one of the founder members of the African Kurash Union.

WHO IS NOW IN CHARGE OF KURASH AFFAIRS IN YOUR COUNTRY? 

Mr Donald Sutherland is the current President Kurash South Africa. He resides in the Eastern Cape.

South Africa has 9 provinces and there are 19 active Kurash clubs in 6 of the provinces.

WHAT ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU HAD IN 2019-2020?

The South African (SA) National Championships was hosted in 2019 in Pretoria.Some local events also took place in the different provinces. The Africa Championships was held in Namibia in 2019.2 Ladies took part in the Uzbekistan invitation event. One of the girls won a second place. The 2020 SA National Championships was cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19.  South Africa was also supposed to host the African Kurash Championships in July 2020 in Johannesburg, but this event will possibly be cancelled under the current Covid-19 circumstances.

HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN WORKING WITH OTHER ITO’S ABROAD?  ARE THERE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR BRINGING THE QUALITY HIGHER WITHIN THE ITO’S?

South Africa is very far from othercountries where high level international tournaments are taking place.  Most African countries (South Africa included) do not have national funding, therefore do not have many opportunities for interaction with other ITO’s.  In order to improve the level of ITO’s in Africa, courses are held at all competitions.

ARE YOU MORE INTERESTED IN COACHING, REFEREEING OF MANAGEMENT?

I am interested in both coaching and refereeing at an international level.   Currently I’m still involved in Refereeing and Coaching at Continental level.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR KURASH IN YOU COUNTRY?

Currently we have about 19 clubs in South Africa.  All clubs are private without any government financial support. Access to national or other funding (sponsor) may contribute to establish more clubs and popularize Kurash throughout the country. I hope that in the future Kurash will take its rightful place along all the other recognized and Olympic sporting codes.

FINALLY HOW IS CORONA AFFECTING KURASH NOW IN YOU COUNTRY?

The South African national Covid-19 lock down regulations are very strict, and at this stage no sports activities are allowed.  Indications are that no organized sports activities in groups will be allowed for a very long time, andwill effect players in future.  Our winter has just started, this means that strict regulations will stay in place at least till September or October. Hopefully we will be allowed to train in small groups in a no-contact scenario by the end of June. This will still have some additional restrictions but at least you will be able to pace yourself against other athletes.

Bill Barnard

Vice President Kurash South Africa

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