Marquees to extend Dundee Ice Arena for world’s largest martial arts tournament

Plans for the marquees at Dundee Ice Arena

Marquees will be used to extend Dundee Ice Arena when the city hosts the world’s largest martial arts tournament next year.

The Seventh World Union of Karate Federations (WUKF) World Championships will take place in Dundee from June 14 to 17 next year.

With just one year to go until the tournament begins, preparations are already well underway for the event.

More than 2,500 athletes will descend on Dundee for the competition, as well as another 1,500 coaches and supporters.

Organiser Roy O’Kane, sensei of Dundee sports club of the year Kanzen Karate, said the event will help put the city on the sporting map and deliver a huge boost for the local economy.

He said: “It’s a year to go and with 2,500 competing athletes it is the biggest martial arts tournament in the world.

“We originally looked at staging it at the AECC in Aberdeen but we wanted to do it in Dundee.

“The Ice Arena wasn’t quite big enough so we will be putting up marquees at the front and back which will be used for warm ups, food and other stalls.”

Mr O’Kane added: “It makes sense to have it in Dundee and the impact it will have here is much bigger than it would be compared to Glasgow or Edinburgh.”

Mr O’Kane, whose Kanzen Karate club won 11 medals including four golds at the European Championships in Romania earlier this year, said the event is expected to deliver a near £10 million boost for the Dundee economy.

Hotels in Dundee will start taking bookings for the event within the next week.

As well as the main event at Dundee Ice Arena, there will also be a marquee set up in Dundee City Square for teams to practise in before the tournament starts.”

The event is being organised with support from Dundee City Council, Leisure and Culture Dundee and other organisations and business including Dundee and Angus Convention Bureau and Apex Hotels.

It will cost around £200, 000 to stage the competition and most of the fund is already in place but Mr O’Kane said they will be looking for businesses to provide sponsorship.

He said: “This is Dundee’s bid – it’s for Dundee and we will be using local firms that are based in the area.

“We will be approaching businesses for sponsorship. It’s important Dundee gets behind it.”

Dundee City Council administration leader Councillor John Alexander said: “Anticipation will be growing in the months ahead as the build up continues to the start of these major karate championships in Dundee.

“The city will be proud to host the event and it will bring a significant boost to our local economy.

“There will be a great atmosphere to welcome the athletes to Dundee.”