Miss SA wishes local boys luck for karate championships

2015-06-22 13:55

SIX young boys from the Khayalethu Youth Centre in Port Elizabeth have been selected as part of the National SA Federation of Shotokan Karate squad which will represent South Africa in the World Junior Karate Championships in the Netherlands later this month.

The Boardwalk sponsored the boys’ accommodation at the GrandWest Hotel at GrandWest during their recent trip to Cape Town, and also hosted them for dinner with new Miss SA, Liesl Laurie, at the Boardwalk recently.

The Khayalethu Youth Centre is a registered children’s home for up to 30 boys aged 8 to 18 who come from extremely difficult backgrounds and because of sad circumstances have spent time on the streets.

Karate was chosen as a compulsory activity at the Youth Centre because of its numerous benefits in developing a balanced individual by means of rigorous and disciplined exercise of the body and mind.

Karate encourages values like respect, self-control, self-discipline, consideration, courtesy, hand-eye co-ordination, concentration and quick reaction. Karate is not only for the naturally talented and most children can achieve some level of excellence. This goes a long way towards building self-confidence and improving their self-image.

Under the expert guidance of Sensei Ben de Swardt, a 5th Dan with Springbok Colours, the Khayalethu Team has achieved consistently good results since 2005 at both local and national level. In fact eight of the centre’s boys have obtained their 1st Dan Black Belts since then.

This year was no exception. Six of the ten boys who were entered in the SA FSK Championships held in Uitenhage in October 2014 won medals, qualified for full SA FSK National Colours, and have been included in the national squad travelling to the Netherlands

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