Baku, June 3, AZERTAC
Ireland's Karen Dolphin is excited about Baku 2015, hoping that the Games can help Karate to become an Olympic event.
"It is a major step for Karate because it has never had Olympic backing for a competition before and it is seen as a big step forward to getting Karate into the Olympics ," Dolphin told the Connacht Tribune newspaper.
"It should make a difference to us. We would be funded. We would have more sports science, more help."
Kata fighter Dolphin will be the only Irish karateka at the Baku 2015 European Games, and has previously appeared in five European and two world championships.
"Now, it's all about preparing for Baku. The day it was announced that I was going to represent Ireland was overwhelming. As it sunk in, I got excited and started to plan my training," said the Laurencetown native.
Dolphin is at a disadvantage to many of her competitors at Baku 2015, as she tries to balance her professional life with her training.
"It is quite intimidating really. I am working in a pharmacy and I am sure are all out training. It is a pity. Until you actually make it to a [major] competition, that is when you are given some funding and some help. I think more people would make it to this stage if they had more help beforehand, which would be great for Karate," she added.