Karate would be seriously affected if Edinburgh Council proceeds with its plan to downsize Meadowbank Stadium, according to the Director of sport for the Scottish Karate Governing Body.
Hamish Adam has been a Karate coach for 40 years and has been based in Meadowbank Stadium since it opened. As well as running his own club at the stadium, he has been involved in Karate at all levels from teaching five year old children to coaching European and World champions.
He was a member of the British team that won the World championships in 1975, when they also became the first team ever to defeat Japan. On retiring from competition he held the position of National coach for 15 years.
He said: “Meadowbank Stadium is a very important venue for Scottish Karate. Not only at grass roots level but also for our elite athletes from all over Scotland. Scottish Karate use the stadium for all our competition events as well as the venue for our elite athlete training. Only three months ago we held the Commonwealth Karate championships, the most successful Karate event ever held in the U.K. Around 2000 Karate students of all ages and standards, from children to elite athletes, competed in this two day event. South Africa alone had over two hundred participants.
“As Director of sport for Scottish Karate I feel that not only will the downsizing of Meadowbank have a detrimental effect on Karate in the Edinburgh area, but on the whole of Scottish Karate, as it has been the centre most used by us since it opened.
“Although practised worldwide, Karate is not yet an Olympic sport but we are in discussion with the Olympic committee and are lobbying for its inclusion as a demonstration sport for 2012.
“Karate is considered to be one of the best all round sports for children because it builds confidence, discipline and all round general fitness. The coaches at Meadowbank over the years have taken children from as young as five and brought them to a level where they have eventually represented Scotland at international level, winning European and World titles. I think that the plans put forward for the intended changes at Meadowbank would seriously affect Scottish Karate and the plans we have for the future of the sport.”
Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor commented: “Karate is one of many sports that have been overlooked by the Council in its haste to sell the land. We call upon the Lib Dem/SNP administration to listen to what thousands have been saying and retain the facilities.”