The Bulgarian center of Bansko was the theater of 2 WAKO referees summer camps.
27-30th July 2018: in Bulgarian summer and winter center Bansko, Bulgarian Confederation of Kickboxing and MT hosted second WAKO International Summer Referee Camp for tatami referees and first WAKO International Summer Referee Camp for ring referees.
Bansko is in the south-western part of Bulgaria, 160 km from the capital of Bulgaria, near Pirin Natural Park, under mountain range Pirin with highest point Vihren (high 2914 m).
In the beautiful hotel Pirin House in Terra Complex, the 2nd WAKO International Summer Referee Camp for tatami referees was held with 67 WAKO referees from 21 countries (18 domestic and 49 from Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, FYR of Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine – 23 women and 44 men).
During 4 days of seminar, referees rehearsed their knowledge of theoretical and practical rules and analyzed several problematic cases from previous WAKO Championships. The seminar was led by Brian Beck – Chairman of WAKO Tatami Referee Committee, the lectures were held by Brian Beck, Karl Wilson, Manuel Doria, Ivo Vodopivec and Gina Engelhardt-Aué. Alex Engelhardt presented the SportData computer system.
From 1. to 3. August, in same hotel, the 1st WAKO International Summer Referee Camp for ring referees was held. At this second part of camp participated 61 WAKO referees from 15 countries (14 domestic and 47 from other countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Spain, and Ukraine – 8 women and 53 men).
The seminar was led by Yuri Lakhtikov – Chairman of WAKO Ring Referee Committee, lectures were held by Yuri Lakhtikov and Romeo Desa, and the practical part by Yuri Lakhtikov, Marco Pacor and Tomislav Novosel.
Organizers of the first part of seminars were Ivan Ivanov, Denitsa Milenkova, Ivan Georgiev; the organizers of the second part were Georgi Georgiev, Dimitar Spasov, Stanislava Boytcheva and Ivan Georgiev.
They provided great organization and hospitality for all camp participants.
Kickboxers from Bulgaria participated for the purposes of practical parts of the seminar. The clubs present for the tatami practical lessons were Ikken, CSKA Sofia, Skaptopara, Optix, Aabc and Aris. For the ring practical lessons we had the following clubs: Armeec, Boil, Patriot, Pride and Glory). The athletes were all very patient and tireless, and demonstrated to be excellent presenters of various problematic situations where referees and judges practiced their skills. At the end of all demonstration exercises, the young Bulgarian kickboxers received a great applause from all the participants.
Upon invitation of the organizers, both seminars were attended by Romeo Desa – Special Adviser of WAKO President and WAKO Europe Board Member, who held several meetings and talks with WAKO Referee Tatami Committee and committees’ chairmen Brian Beck and Yuri Lakhtikov. During those meetings several things about rules, rule’s changes, procedures of changes, future improvements of camp and seminars were discussed, as well as the cooperation between WAKO Organizing and Referee Committees on WAKO Championships.
All referees were very satisfied with all what was prepared and organized by the local organizers, they gave all the best marks for seminars, new knowledge, programs of seminars, presentations and practical lessons, accommodation and food in a beautiful hotel. All promised “we will come next year”.
Also, very important to emphasize, Bulgarian federation was sponsor of both events, without its financial support it would be hard to organize both camps in this successful format. To all of this, both WAKO Referee Committees thank Bulgarian kickboxing and MT confederation as well as members of the local organizing committee.