In Your Shoes - Roy O'Kane

Monday 26th July

Things are busy in all parts of my working life, and I have learned to take time whilst I can. Monday morning was spent with a double shot peppermint latte and a walk round Baxter Park. I find this helps compose my thoughts and priorities for the week ahead before sitting down and opening the laptop.

At desk, laptop open but list my priorities before opening Outlook. This allows me to keep my agenda and that of the organisation on track.

Spent the afternoon clearing out emails and catching up with members of our team who operate in the North of England ensuring they are on track and being supported.

Evening was teaching Karate! Whilst Kanzen is a charity operating different programmes in various locations, the Karate part is what we all love.

Tuesday 27th July

Early morning training followed by phone call with our Chief Referee who represented us at an event at the weekend.

Followed at 11:00 with our weekly team meeting. This is our most important meeting of the week and ensures that all elements are working together and working in unity.

With preparations for new projects, athletes selected for upcoming international competition (which brings travel issues), a seminar at the end of the week and our instructor development programme underway, there was a lot to get through. I always feel buoyed up after the meeting as myself and the team have a clear joined up direction of travel.

Rest of day was actioning my points from meeting (there were many!) and I finished up working at 7pm.

Wednesday 28th July

Morning Zoom call with Dr Liviu Crisan in Romania who is President of the World Union of Karate-Do Federations (WUKF). We have a World Championship in Cluj-Napoca in September with planning & preparation ramping up. COVID-19 has not made events of this scale easy, but we are determined to make it a success taking everything into account. We have just secured a significant corporate partner so that news needs signed-off by their communications team and cascaded.

Emails tidied up, phone calls returned and then meeting with our Chair, Peter Stanton. It is great to have such an enthusiastic Chair and we have a solid working relationship. Discussion about a wide-reaching project that we are looking to implement shortly and outlining meetings needed to progress.

Wednesday night was teaching three classes, loved it.  

Thursday 29th July

My cat ‘Tui’ decided to get me up at 5am as she wanted to play, fair enough.

Playtime over, showered and head to the office early as I much to do.  

Online meeting with the President of the Danish Federation as we are looking to finalise and sign a partnership agreement between them and Kanzen. This is very exciting and would involve exchange of instructors, summer camps, student exchange and much more. One of the things I am most passionate about is creating pathways and opportunities for our people. Great meeting, job done and announced soon.

Travelled into the city centre to visit Sleeperz Hotel and meet with GM Manny Barber. We are hosting (fingers crossed) our 7th Kanzen Cup International Open in November and there is much interest from national teams. Great to catch up with Manny and positive discussion about the event and how they can meet our needs.

Friday 30th July

Joined our team of staff and volunteers at Lochee Park as we hosted another day of Discovery All Stars; free to access activity days across Dundee involving Dundee FC in the Community Charity, Dundee Youth Music Theatre and ourselves with 500 children attending over the summer. The rain stayed off, fantastic.

Phonecall with Councillor Lynne Short updating on Kanzen and discussion about an upcoming project followed by catch up with the team.

Travel to Forfar as I teach there regularly and great to see everyone in class. After everything the world has been through with the pandemic, it is heartening to see normality returning.

Back to Dundee, quick shower, change then dinner at the Apex with our guest instructor Sensei George Best 7th Dan. George travelled up from Manchester and the evening was spent discussing all things Karate.

Saturday 31st July

We hosted three seminars throughout the day with Sensei George and they were fantastic. We felt everyone needed a boost in training following the last 16 months and he was brilliant. Children, adults of all backgrounds training together with a multiple time World and European Champion.

Happy faces throughout, including me. I trained on the sessions too which meant I had suitable (but healthy) aches and pains afterwards.

The evening was spent in Mennies with a few of our Black Belts who attended the seminar, exchanging stories, discussing the seminars. Great way to end the day and just as well; Celtic were on the big screen, and we lost to Hearts. Who needs football when you can kick and punch other respectfully in Karate!

Sunday 1st August

A rest day of sorts.

Spent a few hours editing footage of the seminars and posting on our social media channels then sat back to watch the Hungarian Grand Prix. Disaster for Red Bull Racing who I support. I’m impressed by leadership of Christian Horner within that team and listened to his High Performance Podcast after the race.

Rest-up with Netflix.