Sport an important instrument of peace, social cohesion – Jacob Zuma

2014-09-06 14:06

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Sports has the formidable power of bridging both international and cultural divides, President Jacob Zuma has said.

In a speech prepared for delivery at the opening of the fourth International Karate Organisation (IKO) Matsushima Karate World Cup in Durban today, Zuma said sport had shown itself to be an important instrument of peace and social cohesion.

“This is the first karate world cup tournament in the African continent and it gives us a great pride to be able to once more showcase our ability as a country to host major international events,” Zuma said.

The event was also important for Durban in context of tourism month, as it attracted a significant number of people to the city.

“It adds its own knack of heritage by bringing people of different cultures and nationalities together in one joint event,” Zuma said.

The event was taking place under the three themes of

self-defence, self-discipline, which karate imbibed, as well as crime prevention.

“The three themes encapsulate the importance of karate as a sporting code,” Zuma said.

“Like any other sport, karate contributes to health and physical wellness and prevents many lifestyle diseases among people.

“It takes children away from the streets, enhances their physical and mental fitness, and provides them with important life and survival skills.”

Zuma said the tournament was also a fitting tribute to the late Shihan Alpheous Sabela, and branch chief Khanyisani Mazibuko for their efforts in bringing the IKO World Cup to South Africa.

“Shihan Alpheous Sabela, a man of this province and from Inanda, around Durban, made an enormous contribution to the sport of karate over many years,” Zuma said.

“He started training karate in the early 1970s, and established many karate schools or Dojos. He went on to become one of the best in the sport internationally.”

A recipient of international awards, he was also instrumental in the establishment of the annual Jacob Zuma Karate Cup.

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