Champ needs your chops

2015-09-01 06:00
Aayesha Kleinsmith shows some of her moves that have won her several medals and trophies in the world of Karate. 

Aayesha Kleinsmith shows some of her moves that have won her several medals and trophies in the world of Karate. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Aayesha Kleinsmith (18) from Kensington has numerous medals and trophies to her name as she is at the top of her game in karate.

The first-year student at the University of the Western Cape, who is studying Sports Science, has come out tops in karate competitions locally and around the province.

With no doubt about her ability she has been selected to represent South Africa at the World Karate Federation Championships that will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in November.

But her participation there seems impossible at the moment.

Being the eldest of two children, her mother is unemployed and her father is a driver for a stationery company. They can’t make up about R35 000, which is needed for her to go to the competition. This money would help her with her visa, flights and accommodation. She is also supposed to buy new equipment before the tournament.

This is the third time Kleinsmith, who is a junior nidan (second degree black belt), has been selected to represent the country.

The first time was in Malaysia; it was a struggle for her parents to put up the money. Her grandfather helped them raise the funds.

The second time she was selected to represent SA in Spain, but she couldn’t go.

Now, again, her parents can’t afford the money she needs to go to Indonesia. They are pleading for help so that their child can represent her country, but most of all do what she really loves.

Her mother, Rukeya Kleinsmith, says: “The second time she couldn’t go because there was no money. It was the worst thing for a parent to tell her child she can’t go because we don’t have money and it was going to put a lot of strain on us trying to raise it after the loss of my father. But this time around I don’t want her to miss this opportunity. I’m calling out to a good Samaritan out there to help us. She really loves this and having to tell her that she can’t go again will tear her apart. She has done so well, it will make her happy to go, so we are pleading to someone out there to come to our rescue,” she says.

Aayesha started karate 10 years ago.

“My mother sent my young brother to go do karate as he was shy. She hoped that the karate lessons would boost his confidence. We would go and watch him and I enjoyed every moment of it. I then told my brother this is what I want to do as well. I started practising as well and I have never looked back. Since then I have given it my all,” she says.

She loves the sport so much and she says at this stage she is at a very frustrating point of her life because she doesn’t know whether she will go to Indonesia or not.

“I have been working so hard to prepare for the tournament. I’m not sure if I will get the opportunity to go but I will keep training hard for the championships. Nevertheless, I’m so excited. I’m better prepared than before.

“I’m asking for help and contributions. Every little bit helps and it will help me realise my dream,” she says.

Her friends and family are hosting a fundraising dance at Chesrays club in Kensington on Friday and a “snacks and relax” event in Factreton on 12 September. Those who want to help can call Rukeya on 083 606 4364 or 021 593 0519

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