Doitsu Showa

Photo: Mark Gardner :





The SAKKS Judges Training Programme is renown throughout the koi world for being comprehensive and one that requires both dedication and commitment. The programme initially comprises training in the theory of koi appreciation and judging of koi at shows, with trainees writing numerous written examinations, researching specific topics related to judging and attending koi shows as trainee judges over a period of 2 years.

If they meet the required standard of judging competency they become SAKKS Certified C Grade Judges and continue judging at koi shows as they progress through to SAKKS Grade B and SAKKS Grade A Certified Judges. The goal of each SAKKS Judge however is to become a ZNA Local Certified Judge.

ZNA is the worldwide hobbyist's organisation with its head office in Japan. Such certification requires that a ZNA Chapter must recommend a member judge to the ZNA Judges Certification Committee in Japan which will consider the application based on that judges meeting the requirements, including ZNA

Membership for at least 5 years and having judged at a minimum number ZNA recognised koi shows and attended recognised ZNA Judging Seminars. SAKKS however does not believe that a member should simply meet the minimum criteria for ZNA Local Judge Certification. It has its own very high standards and criteria which must be met before the SAKKS Certified judge is recommended for consideration for ZNA Local Certified Judge status by ZNA in Japan

Our SAKKS Judges are trained to the very high standards demanded by the Judges Standards Committee of SAKKS and as such have a reputation internationally as well rounded and proficient judges.

In January 2003 a group of trainee judges attended their first Judges Training Workshop and wrote two examinations before being accepted onto the SAKKS Judges Training Programme. Over the subsequent years they have judged at many shows both in South Africa and overseas and have progressed through the various levels of SAKKS Gradings. Their training program was interrupted somewhat when all koi shows were cancelled in South Africa in 2004, but this was just a temporary setback.

It is with great pride and much pleasure that we can announce that the ZNA Judges Certification Committee met in Japan on 6 February 2010 and approved the following judges, (who all started out as Trainee Judges in January 2003) as ZNA Local Certified Judges with effect from 7 February 2010.

Congratulations go to Kevin Harrison, Larry Hubbard, Jim Phillips, Raj Lalloo and Oosie Strydom on this well-deserved certification.

They now join Brian Welch (who became a ZNA Local Certified Judge in January 2003) and René Schoenmaker (who became a ZNA Local Certified Judge in January 2006) as the 7 ZNA Local Certified Judges in South Africa. Mike Harvey and Harry Beckx became ZNA Local Certified Judges in January 1999 and after a further 8 years as ZNA Local Certified Judges and passing the ZNA Assistant Certified Judges Examination in Tokyo, Japan in January 2007, Mike and Harry were promoted to ZNA Assistant Certified Judges.

These recent certifications as ZNA Local Certified Judges now brings the total of ZNA Local Certified Judges in South Africa to 7 and with 2 ZNA Assistant Certified Judges as well, SAKKS now has the largest number of ZNA Local and Assistant Certified Judges of any ZNA Chapter in the world outside of Japan. What makes this more remarkable is the fact that South Africa has set extremely high standards for any judge to be certified by the ZNA - far exceeding any minimum requirements laid down by the ZNA.

A survey of the Records of Shows these 9 Judges have judged at reveals some interesting facts as at 2010:

  • together these 9 judges have judged in over 320 koi shows over a period of 15 years.
  • together these 9 judges have judged in koi shows on every continent of the world - including South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA , Holland, Belgium, England, Australia and Brazil.

Congratulations again to Kevin, Larry, Jim, Raj and Oosie on showing your dedication and commitment to achieving this well-deserved certification.

As the SAKKS has a continuing Judges Training program to ensure that the knowledge and experience of our judges is passed on to future generations of SAKKS judges, a Judges Training Workshop was held in Midrand on the weekend of 30 - 31 January 2010.

During this comprehensive weekend workshop all 9 of the ZNA judges from SAKKS participated in the presentations to both candidates applying to join the Judges Training Programme and members simply wishing to learn more about koi appreciation and judging criteria. For those wishing to become Trainee Judges it was a busy time, both before the workshop and over the weekend. Having applied in advance to join the programme, they were given a significant amount of studying and reading to do prior to the workshop. The first thing they did on arrival at the workshop was to write an examination on the required reading. Thereafter they participated in the presentations over the two days and wrote a further examination at the end of the workshop. Each applicant was also interviewed by a panel of 5 judges to determine their level of commitment to the Judges

Training program, as well as receiving feedback from the judges on their written examination results. We are pleased to welcome as new Trainee Judges the following members:

  • Willem Daffue (Free State)
  • Chris Jankovich (KwaZulu Natal)
  • Ronny Botha (Gauteng)
  • Maria Anna Botha (Gauteng)

We wish you all success in your pursuit to become SAKKS Certified Judges over time, something which will require your determination and commitment during the years ahead.