The club had resorted to the Montshiwa school hall after they had been chucked out of their training venue of more than 20 years at the Perseverance College hall.
THE MEDAL bedecked Zen Shotokan Karate Club is desperately looking for a new home in which to restart their world championship winning streak which was disrupted by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sensei Sam Nkosi, a seventh dan karateka and retired SAPS Colonel, was clearly frustrated when he spoke to the DFA about his club’s endless battle to find a home base of whatever description around Kimberley.
Nkosi said his club had, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, used the Montshiwa Primary school hall for practice. When Covid came the school governing board requested they cease operating from the school as a precaution against spreading Covid, he said.
Nkosi explained that the club had resorted to the Montshiwa school hall after they had been chucked out of their training venue of more than 20 years at the Perseverance College hall.
“We started out at Perseverance in 1997 and stayed there until 2017. The owners of the venue informed us in 2017 that they were reserving the hall for other functions. We, along with a bodybuilding club and a church congregation who were co-users of the Perseverance hall were badly affected by that decision,” he said.
The Zen Shotokan Club used the Montshiwa hall from 2017 to 2019 when Covid struck. The club complied with a request to evacuate the hall and it had stayed inactive over that period.
“Now, when we went back to re-apply for the use of the hall (after Covid) we hit a brick wall. It is either our appointment falls through the mat or we are informed that the right authority to speak to is not available, or the scheduled meeting gets postponed, things like that.”
Nksosi said when they realised that their old dojo at the Montshiwa school might be off limits they spread their request for a hall further and approached other instances for help. “Ever since Covid waned we’ve written letters to various instances to find a suitable place to practice.”
Nkosi reeled off the names of the institutions that they have applied to without success. These include the Sol Plaatje municipality, as well as a number of churches and schools.
“At the moment we are using a small venue situated inside a facility that also accommodates a kindergarten in Homelite. We use the venue on alternate days such as Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. But our problem is far from being over. We are a 40-member club team and can’t all fit inside the hall.
“Ideally, we’d like to use a place such as the local stadium which has plenty of space but to date, we are awaiting a response from the Sol Plaatje municipality regarding our request.
“In our search for a venue we’ve met a lot of negative responses. I’ve been hurt by comments that are clearly xenophobic probably because of my name (Nkosi).
“It is very frustrating especially when you think that this club has earned itself four world championships. These four members of our club hold those distinctions in the sport. I myself am a seventh dan black belt holder, the highest in the Northern Cape.
“All I am trying to do is to keep the club going and to assist the kids with their sporting talents.”
Nkosi said he is available to negotiate a deal with any person or institution willing to assist the club.