Karate kid eyes gold

2016-08-02 06:00
Brady Brown is ready to leap onto the internation karate competition circuit to reach his dream of representing South Africa at the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Showing off his medals is mom, Valencia and dad, Llewellyn.  PHOTO: gary van dyk

Brady Brown is ready to leap onto the internation karate competition circuit to reach his dream of representing South Africa at the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Showing off his medals is mom, Valencia and dad, Llewellyn. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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With all eyes on the Rio Olympics starting this week a karate kid in Kensington has his eyes on making his country proud in Japan in 2020.

Brady Brown may only be 12 but he is taking the sport seriously, winning competitions across South Africa. He now aims to make his mark on the international scene - if he can get sponsorship.

The Grade 6 learner at Windermere Primary, who attends Karate Zen in Goodwood, is fresh from winning a gold and silver at an inter-schools competition that was held on Saturday.

He is the third-generation of his family involved in karate and wants to make his family proud.

“I was motivated to start by my father and my grandfather was also a top karateka,” says Brady. “They did not have the opportunity to take their sport further than Western Province colours when they were young so I want to make them proud at the highest levels in the world.”

Dad Llewellyn is very proud of his son’s achievements so far but wants to give him the opportunity to compete in overseas competitions.

“Brady started karate in 2012 and competing in 2013 where we immediately saw his potential. His passion for the sport proved itself again this year when he took part in the national championships in Durban during July.

“In the boys 12 to 13 45kg division he was ranked 4th as an elite athlete but he had put on some wight so had to go up a division where he was then ranked 7th. This made no difference to him in the 55kg division where he took part in the Kata and Kumite events, winning gold in both events. As a result he is now the third ranked boy in this division in South Africa.”

With these accolades coming the way of this young karate kid from Kensington he has been invited to take part in the WKF Junior World Championships in Dubai and the Cheeta Challenge in Bloemfontein as well as the Interschool Freestyle Championships in Johannesburg later this year. But money, or the lack thereof, could put paid to his aspirations.

“In the past we relied on the generosity of friends and family,” continues Llewellyn.

“But it is getting more serious now with more competitions coming up and Brady’s dream of putting on the green and gold for his country at the Olympics. Now we need some major support to make this dream come true. All his instructors see the potential and with help he will make out country proud.”

Mom Valencia also supports her son but adds that from day one education was the first priority. “Brady knows that his education is the most important thing for him so if his grades start dropping there is going to be a problem,” she says.

“Luckily the dedication and concentration that he learns from the sport helps him at school as well. He may not realise it but we’ve seen the change with him in the last few years,” she says.

“It also helps that the senseis at the dojo also play their part by going around to schools to talk to the children and stress the need for maintaining good grades.
Bradley has big dreams for his future. “Our son has also become a more caring person and his biggest dream is to one day open his own dojo and empower young people at risk through the sport.”

Brady is the youngest of two children in the family and points out that his 18-year-old sister Jade is his biggest fan.

“I don’t know what I would do without her because she even lets me practice on her,” he laughs. But she is my biggest fan who is always motivating me and encouraging me to always strive to be the best.

“I am very thankful to have such a supportive family and know that they are doing their best to make my dreams come true. One day I want to make them proud by representing South Africa and winning gold - they’ve taught me that nothing is impossible.”

For more information about sponsorship needs contact Llewellyn on 073 656 4436 or email Brownla01@outlook.com.

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