French karate icon Christophe Pinna is expected in Rwanda next week as an instructor at the forthcoming International Kumite Technical Seminar slated in Kigali from April 25-30.
The multi-European Karate Champion was invited by Japan Karate Association Rwanda (JKA-Rwanda), the organisers of the six-day seminar, to inspire Rwandan Karatekas, especially the young generation, to become future champions in the discipline.
Dubbed “Meet the Champion and Be Inspired”, the technical seminar will bring together about two hundred participants varying from children to youth and adults.
Pinna and other world class level champions and trainers are expected to be hosted in Kigali on an annual basis in quest to develop young talents, elite and high-performance athletes in Rwanda.
Guy Rurangayire, the brains behind the seminar, told Weekend Sport that he thought about Pinna while organizing the seminar after he was convinced that his legendary experience during his days in karate would inspire the local karate community.
He said the French didn’t hesitate to confirm his anticipated visit due to the duo’s cordial relationship.
“Pinna is a living legend in karate and we started planning this visit sometime back, if not mistaken in 2017. We are good friends too,” Rurangayire said in an exclusive interview.
The seminar will officially be launched Monday, April 25, at Lycée de Kigali Gymnasium.
Who is Christophe Pinna?
Pinna was one of the best competitors of his generation. Famed for his dynamic kicking ability, the French won multiple titles at European and global level.
A remarkable competitor, he returned from retirement to represent France at the 2020 Olympic Games held in Japan last year.
Born in Saint Sylvestre District of Nice, the 54-year-old started practicing taekwondo at the age of five. A decade later, he became the French Taekwondo Junior champion.
Pinna began his military service in 1986, joining the famed Joinville Battalion (Ecole Interarmee des Sports). That same year, he started karate and became the French Military Karate Champion before clinching the European Junior Karate Championships title.
He went on to win multiple titles in Europe and on world stage during his glittering career. Pinna is a member of the French National Karate team.