Home Sport Kimberley duo receive Proteas colours for taekwondo

Kimberley duo receive Proteas colours for taekwondo


After representing South Africa in a competition in Malawi, Grade 10 learners Donica Tafel and Jaydean Kaars received their green and gold Proteas blazers after they were awarded their Springbok colours in Taekwondo

Seen from left are Jaydean Kaars, Master David Kok and Donica Tafel, during the official handover of their green and gold Proteas blazers. Picture: Danie van der Lith

AT A VERY young age, two learners from Homevale’s Emmanuel Secondary School excelled in their chosen sport in a way that far too many others would regrettably never manage.

After representing South Africa in a competition in Malawi, Grade 10 learners Donica Tafel and Jaydean Kaars received their green and gold Proteas blazers after they were awarded their Springbok colours in Taekwondo.

Emmanuel’s principal, Sebastian van Rooyen, greeted all the roleplayers in attendance during the formal handover ceremony that was held at their school recently.

ALSO READ: Kimberley Taekwondo juniors off to Malawi Games

“Today we can see the fruits of two learners who showed discipline and dedication,” said van Rooyen.

David Kok, the president of the South African Taekwondo Federation, entered the room to thunderous applause and stated that it was an honour to be able to present the two Emmanuel Secondary School athletes with the green and gold Proteas blazers.

“The martial art of Taekwondo was developed in Korea,” Kok explained to the gathered audience. “It has been used as a method of allowing a person’s spiritual and bodily selves to unite since ancient times up until the present. Taekwondo teaches us respect, patriotism, discipline, and loyalty in addition to other values.

“You will hear that there is a Taekwondo Federation wherever you go since we imported this tradition from the South Koreans in order to integrate it into our society and communities throughout the world,” said Kok.

The MEC for Sport, Arts, and Culture, Desery Fienies, said that it gave her pleasure to recognise the sporting excellence of two young sportswomen hailing from Kimberley’s own Emmanuel Secondary School.

Fienies extended her congratulations to the two learners and commended them for the part they have played and will continue to play in bringing honour to the Northern Cape province and the entire nation.

“These two young learners have raised the profile of the Northern Cape both nationally and globally, and they have done us officially proud, Fienies said. “We are honouring both your taekwondo accomplishments and the efforts you put in to get here today. Not only have you made us proud, but also your families, towns, clubs, schools, province, and nation,” said Fienies.

“The department of Sport, Arts, and Culture would therefore like to give the two of you R5,000 each that you can use for further events that you will need to go to,” the MEC added.

Donica Tafel, who has achieved a black belt in taekwondo, said that she started participating at the age of 14 and has loved the sport ever since. “We train two to three times a week for more than an hour at a time, and that includes cardio to keep us fit,” she told the DFA.

“Being in Malawi was very nice; it was a totally different experience, Donica added. “My goals for the future are to go as far as possible with taekwondo and to win a gold medal in the Olympics,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jaydean Kaars, also holder of a black belt, agreed that her time in Malawi was a wonderful experience. “Everything is different from South Africa, and everyone is friendly there. Like Donica, I have similar future goals: I want to represent my nation at the Olympics and return home with a gold medal,” Jaydean said.

As the two athletes walked off the stage, all the learners in attendance applauded and cheered on their schoolmates, showing their support for the achievement that these two received.

Now, as Kimberlites we may not fully realise that we are standing at the start of what could potentially be a very big thing for these two athletes.

We will now all have to keep our eyes on Donica and Jaydean to see what their futures hold; we are expecting big and exciting things. And who knows, maybe there will be some more learners from Emmanuel Secondary School, or from our city that will have the privilege of wearing the green and gold blazer.

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