TOP-SEEDED Free State karate star Sensei Nechodemus Banyane has received another feather in his cap with his appointment as kumite head coach to lead the senior South African karate team to the 2020 Summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo, Japan, from 24 July to 9 August. Shine, or Black Cheetah, as he is known, was appointed by Karate South Africa Elite and Open at its annual general meeting held in Durban on 15 and 16 July. He becomes the first black coach appointed to this influential position to lead South Africa since all karate styles were united and re-admitted to the World Karate Federation in 1992.Originating from Botshabelo, Shine replaces Jody Young, who will be assistant coach. Banyane hopes to make history at his maiden Olympics in 2020. He has participated in the sport since a tender age and he sees his appointment as one of the milestones in his karate career. It confirms there seems to be nothing that can stop him from winning, setting records and bagging awards. “Going there as coach, not competitor, is a great feeling. It has been my dream to go to the Olympics as competitor, but the feeling is unbelievable for me to be appointed and to see South Africa assembling a winning team in 2020. It is big responsibility, and all eyes are on me to ensure I produce the best competitors in the world,” said Banyane. His first assignment will be to lead the South African team to the world championship in Austria in October and the Africa Cup in November.Banyane did not let his background define his ability. He rose above the challenges to live his childhood dream to make it big in the world.He was selected to represent South Africa as an athlete in 26 international competitions and won 17 international medals: 9 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze. He participated in the Karate Africa Zone 5 World Championships, the WKF Africa Championships (UFAK), the Commonwealth Games and the All Africa Games. In 2011 Banyane retired as a competitive athlete and was appointed as the assistant coach of the Protea team for juniors to Tunisia in 2013 and Namibia in 2014. In Tunisia he was recognised for his talent with a trophy from Hanshi Peter Brandon of the Africa coaching commission. He was the first black athlete from South Africa to receive an internationally-accredited coaching certificate in Spain in 2013. He was then promoted to the senior national protea team as assistant coach in Senegal in 2014. He has been integral in the South African team, having served as assistant coach in Congo 2015 and Zimbabwe 2016.