Joburg karate kids beg for funds to get to World Championships

2016-05-16 13:13

Johannesburg – The only thing standing between three young karatekas (practitioners of karate) from Eldorado Park in Gauteng and their dream of representing South Africa in a tournament in Germany is money.  

Renaldo Kok, 24, Chesline Petersen, 21, and Denzelle Bloem, 17, have qualified to participate in the 5th Dojo World Championships, but their sponsor has just pulled out.

"It is very hard knowing that we have been chosen to go to Germany, but knowing that it [might] not take place due to the fact that we as team don't have the funds," Petersen said, describing the team’s frustration at having to look for another sponsor in time for the tournament later this year.


The three young men who are hoping to go to Germany. (Photo supplied)

The trio, who train at the Shukokai Karate Academy, have been doing karate for more than 12 years and say they have had to miss a number of previous tournaments because of a lack of funding.

"Every two years, the team has an opportunity to participating in the World Championship, however this year it is very difficult as there is no money," Petersen told News24 on Sunday.   

"We have been working really hard for the past two years, since our last world championship held in SA at Sun City."     

Kok said, despite their financial constraints, they had been preparing for the tournament and putting in the extra work.  

"We've been trying our luck everywhere [to source funding], but nothing seems to have worked, so that's why we tried a different approach on different media platforms.

"It's sad to think that we are doing a professional sport, but there is no assistance and help from anywhere," said Kok.

The trio needs to put down a deposit of R10 000 per person by May 23; and overall the trip will cost them R25 000 each.

- If you would like to help the trio to reach the championship, e-mail us at feedback@news24.com

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