Home Sport Local karate students out to make SA pround on the international stage

Local karate students out to make SA pround on the international stage

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The AUSC UFAK Region South Championship is an annual event that brings together the best karateka from southern African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Two students from the Zanshin Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Academy, Mïcke Strydom (right) and Alwyn Smit (left), have achieved a significant milestone by being selected for the Karate South Africa (KSA) National Team. Seen with them is Zanshin Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Academy’s chief instructor, Shihan Peter Stegmann. Picture: Danie van der Lith

TWO STUDENTS from the Zanshin Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Academy, Mïcke Strydom and Alwyn Smit, have achieved a significant milestone by being selected for the Karate South Africa (KSA) National Team.

The two karateka will represent South Africa in the prestigious AUSC UFAK Region South Championship, set to take place from June 19-23, 2024, in Swakopmund, Namibia.

The AUSC UFAK Region South Championship is an annual event that brings together the best karateka from southern African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

This all-styles karate tournament is highly regarded in the region, showcasing top-tier talent and competitive spirit.

Strydom has been ranked number one for kata and number four for kumite in her division in South Africa. This remarkable achievement means she will be representing the nation as an official Protea athlete at the upcoming tournament. This is her second consecutive selection for the Protea team. However, due to various challenges, she was unable to attend the 2023 event in Zimbabwe.

Mïcke told the DFA that she is looking forward to the personal growth she will get out of this tournament. “I hope to bring back a medal, but mostly I want to make my country and my family proud,” Strydom said, explaining that she will compete in Kumite and Kata, but mentioned that, because her kata is stronger at the moment, she wishes to do well there.

Smit, another standout from the academy, has been ranked number four for Kumite in his division. His selection as a KSA national athlete underscores his dedication and skill in the sport.

Alwyn said that he hopes to win a gold medal at the tournament. “This is the biggest competition I’ve taken part in, and I hope I can make everybody proud,” he said.

The journey to being selected for the KSA National Team has been a demanding one for both athletes. It involved three years of relentless hard work, dedication, and sacrifice.

Their preparation included rigorous training sessions at home and in the dojo, competing in numerous KSA national tournaments, and attending every possible national training session. Their consistent performances, particularly at national tournaments, were crucial.

Despite the ups and downs of competition, maintaining top positions and achieving personal bests earned them the necessary national ranking points for selection.

In addition to the athletes’ success, Zanshin Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Academy’s chief instructor, Shihan Peter Stegmann, has been honoured with the role of national coach. He will accompany the national team of over 120 athletes to the championship in Namibia.

There is no doubt that along with the Academy, the local community also extends their best wishes to the national team as they head to Namibia.

Their dedication and spirit exemplify the strength and pride of South African karate. Let’s support our athletes as they aim to bring glory to the nation and keep the South African flag flying high!

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