Posted 25th February 2013
To all EKF Heads of Associations,
The rules governing membership of the EKF require that all individual members of associations purchase an EKF licence. This is, at ₤2, a very small sum and a fraction of what individuals in other countries pay to be members of their national governing bodies. It is clear, however, that some groups are not licensing all their members. This is both unfair to those that do and effectively denies Karate in this country the necessary funds to develop.
The EKF presently has over 26,000 licensed members, but there are indicators that enable us to demonstrate that the true number of individual members we have is considerably higher. This has prevented the EKF being able to clearly demonstrate that we represent the majority of Karate practitioners and secure the appropriate recognition as the majority representative group from national sporting bodies such as Sport England and the Sport and Recreational Alliance.
There is much the EKF Board would like to do to further develop Karate, such as funding formally recognised child protection qualifications for a member of every association. We are also conscious that the cream of our elite athletes have to fund much of their own participation at international events when representing their country, which is both frustrating and problematic for many. We have lost some outstanding senior competitors at the peak of their potential for this reason.
We have tried to encourage associations to see the long-term benefits of comprehensive licensing and this has increased returns significantly. I am grateful to all those that now comply with this requirement. Unfortunately, there are some that still do not comply and I regret that we have little choice but to take firmer action. To this end, I am afraid that the EKF Board has decided that those assocations that have not submitted a single return over the past 12 months will have their membership of the EKF terminated and will be obliged to re-apply. The associations concerned will shortly be receiving letters to inform them that they fall within this category.
There are other associations that do submit returns, but it is obvious that their returns are incomplete when one considers the number of clubs they run, the number of classes they advertise or the returns they have submitted in previous years. These associations will also be receiving letters directing them to comply with the rules under which they joined or likewise face expulsion.
It is, of course, possible that systems failures may be responsible for what appears to be lack of compliance and any representation from an association will be carefully scrutinised to ensure our action is both proportionate and well-founded.
I trust you will all understand and appreciate the necessity of sending out this message. If you would like to check returns, please contact Mike O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mike will help with details of our records. As ever, if I can assist with any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
With best wishes to you all,
(By and on behalf of EKF Board)