British Karate Federation

Virtus Global Games

Historic Moment as GB Karate makes it debut in the Virtus Global Games

For the first time Karate makes its international debut at the Virtus Global Games with Joseph Clifton (ENG) representing British Karate Federation heading to Vichy as part of the GB Team.

Supporting Joseph is Matt Handley, Karate Team Manager/ Coach with escort Andy Clifton.

One of 14 sports at the Global Games, Karate Kata makes its Virtus debut, made possible by an international agreement with the World Karate Federation.


 Marking an historic first-time invitation by SportExcel UK international athlete, and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Joseph Clifton said ‘I’m feeling, confident, proud, and strong. I’m out to win gold!


Matt Handley, said ‘It is a huge honour for me as a coach to be attending the Virtus Global Games and be the first Karate coach to represent our country at a Virtus Championships. It is a great privilege to work alongside our talented athlete, I am excited to see what we can achieve!’


The GB Karate Team arrives in Vichy on 6th June, with events commencing 8th June 2023.


Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive SportExcel UK said ‘As for karate, our new collaboration with the British Karate Federation has made this possible. A great deal of thanks goes to their President and to Coach Matt Handley in embracing the opportunity and working with us to achieve our shared vision. Joseph is making history, as our first ever selection in Karate – let’s hope that this is just the start of things to come.’


The significance of seeing equestrian and karate join the Virtus programme and at the Global Games can’t be overstated. It’s a huge milestone and an exciting one. Congratulations to the whole Team – I’m excited to see what Vichy will hold for us.”

The Virtus Global Games, 2nd to 11th June 2023, is the world’s largest elite sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment. Athletes from Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania will perform across ten main sports, with over 1200 athletes expected.

SportExcelUK promotes, supports, and facilitates talented sports people in the UK to train, compete and excel in national and international sport. It is the only official Great Britain member of Virtus is responsible for and manages eligibility and classification across the UK and manages GB Teams to Virtus events.

UK.  SportExcelUK is a member of the British Paralympic Association, recognised by UK Sport and is the official Great Britain member of Virtus. See