For The People

NC Karatekas Kick Into National Championship

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KIMBERLEY – Karate is alive and kicking in the Northern Cape. The Karate Association of the Northern Cape (KANC) is set to determine the number of karatekas that will feature in the national championships to be held under the auspices of its umbrella organisation, Karate South Africa, in Durban next month. And this after the successful hosting of a one-day provincial trials held at Kimberley’s Homing Society hall on Saturday of February 3, 2018. President of KANC sensei Gilbert Isaka enthused over Karate’s “growth” on the home front. ” We have produced a national development champion. Apart from the gold, we also have silver and bronze.” “We will make a proper assessment of the trials and enlist the karatekas that we are confident of giving us medals. Serious headways have been made over the last year in comparison to the years before hence we are now able to stage trials in all-styles and kumite (sparring) for development and elites.”

The hall was enveloped by a sense of discipline and camaraderie among the multi-racial karatekas and officials that deserved a bow. Hordes of parents were also in support of their karate kids. National champion, twelve-year-old Boipelo Awuah of Galeshewe’s Neko-Ashi Karate Club and also a grade seven learner at Vooruitsig Primary School, said she will be training hard in defence of her title. “I have done well at these trials and I am confident of retaining gold at the championships. However, we will appreciate sponsorships towards acquiring the necessary martial arts equipment,” said Awuah, a soft-spoken young blue-belt karateka. Sensei Isaka added that apart from submitting reports to the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture they also hoping to attract sponsorships for the martial arts. Upington’s shihan (six den or holder of six black belts) who is also KANC’s technical convener Adriaan Beukes said the ZF Mgcawu district’s five clubs bear a total of three hundred karatekas.

“With the increase in numbers, we even considering staging school based tournaments in an effort to ensure it enjoys the same popularity as rugby. We are also likely to have disabled karatekas representing the Northern Cape at the championships in future owing to the strides hit by the Oasis Skills Development Centre. Shihan Pieter Pretorius who lost an arm in a hunting expedition established the club.” Karate South Africa will also constitute a team that will represent this country at the world championships in Croatia under the banner of the World Karate Association later this year. The growth of the sport and it proper running in the Northern Cape coincides with the recent announcement of Karate’s adoption at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Who knows that our very own Boipelo Awuah might make it to this prestigious global sporting assemblage.

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