Maria Alexiadis keeps breaking glass ceilings after being named the first ever female President of Karate Victoria (KV), the peak representative body of Karate in Victoria.
Alexiadis will be taking over from outgoing President, John Frazzetto, after he withdrew his nomination from the organisation’s recent Annual General Meeting.
To mark this incredible achievement, The Greek Herald spoke to Alexiadis about her future plans for KV.
1. How does it feel to be named the first female President of KV?
It feels both good and bad. It is sad that it has taken so long for a female to become president and that this [gender] is even a thing in 2021. In fact, there are individuals out there that still don’t like it and don’t really believe I can do it but overall, it is a positive for an organisation like KV.
I know I will be scrutinised and will probably have to work twice as hard as a male counterpart to prove myself, but I’ve never shied away from pressure or hard work and criticism only makes me stronger. Overall, I’m really excited to be leading an organisation and sport I’m so passionate about and one where I have worked tirelessly to help improve and grow. I look forward to this challenge and making an even bigger impact on what I consider to be one of the best sports in the world!
2. Tell us a little bit about the work of KV?
KV’s purpose is to provide a safe, inclusive and healthy sport that inspires and enables our members to achieve excellence in Karate and in life. We do this by offering athletes the chance to compete at state, national and international levels across tournaments that include the Senior World Championships, Cadet / Junior / U21 World Championships, Karate 1 Series A and Premier League events.
Karate Victoria’s involvement in these and many other tournaments is powered by our affiliation with organisations such as the Australian Karate Federation (AKF), the World Karate Federation (WKF) and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
We want to diffuse true Karate to the community; to foster Karate on a national level and encourage community health and welfare by ensuring karate is accessible to all.
Karate Victoria stands by the principle that constant development and improvement of both body and mind distinguishes karate-do from other sports. It is through the reinforcement of karate-do’s traditional values – respect, honesty, loyalty, discipline, trust, perseverance, and courtesy – along with our provision of coaching accreditation courses, seminars and training clinics, that provides the environment necessary for individuals to succeed and excel.
3. How long have you been involved with KV?
I’ve been involved with KV for over 30 years. I started out as an athlete on the state team and then made my first national team in 1999. In 2009, I, along with 2 other females, made history as the first female state coaches for KV.
From there, I helped develop female development days and coaching development days. I then got onto the KV Executive Committee as Secretary in 2015. Initially I had no idea what I was doing or what my role entailed, but I wanted to help improve our sport.
I faced many challenges in my sport as a female athlete and really didn’t want any other athlete going through what I went through. I felt accepting the position on the Executive Committee would be the best way to help make changes/improvements. It was a steep learning curve into the world of sport’s administration.
4. What are your future plans for KV?
My vision for Karate Victoria is for it to become a fulltime sporting organisation known for its integrity, inclusivity, professionalism and success. I personally would like to see our clubs, athletes, families and fans work together more effectively to promote and champion the benefits of our sport to the wider community and use that to enable more Victorians to take up our sport.
I would like to see our sport engage with and become more accessible to women and girls, those with disabilities, those from different cultures and the elderly. I would also like to see us develop world class programs from grassroots through to the pinnacle of elite international competition and provide more support for those achieving international sporting success that help us to engender national pride and inspiration.
Karate and all those individuals in our organisation have the power to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians, make communities stronger and drive positive change.