A Grant Contract Signing Ceremony of "The Project for the Improvement of Karate Equipment of Solomon Islands Karate Federation" will assist to improve karate in Solomon Islands.

The funding of USD18, 076.00 is the first project of the Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots in Solomon Islands by the Japanese Government.

Charge d'Affaires of Japan in Honiara, HE Akira Iwanade, said the karate equipment will help improve and encourage Japanese martial arts in the Solomons.

Karate is one of the very traditional Japanese martial arts that is practiced global.

HE Iwanade adds that the project is "a very good example" of the continuing relationship between the two countries.

Reformed in 2008, the Karate Federation is headed by Alfred Gaote'e who is one of the licensed Karate players in the country.

Mr. Gaote'e will assist in the development of Karate in Solomon Islands.

In receiving the assistance, Mr. Gaote'e said the support will help the federation to "expose more Solomon Islanders to the wonderful culture and rich heritage of Japan."

Mr. Gaote'e thanked the Government of Japan and the Embassy of Japan in Honiara for their efforts to bring the Japanese Art of Karate-Do to the people of Solomon Islands.

Karate-Do, apart from being a powerful martial art and a great form of exercise, introduces the practitioner to many aspects of Japanese traditions and rituals, and instills a strong sense of values, morals and healthy competition.

Mr. Gaote'e said the Cultural Grassroots Grants received will allow the federation to purchase essential equipment that will help to develop and nurture a national team, develop the Karate-Do coaches of tomorrow, introduce Karate-Do to more people through demonstration events and competitions, and increase the involvement of women and children in Karate-Do.

To date, the Solomon Islands Karate Federation have licensed 85 members and the number is growing every week.

"[Today] is a very proud day for us, as these goals are acknowledged and supported by the country in which the martial art and sport that we love was created."