Karateka in search of sponsors to compete on world stage

                     photo: suppliedInstructors (back, from left) Lungisani Mabaso and Sbonelo Mkhize with karateka.
photo: suppliedInstructors (back, from left) Lungisani Mabaso and Sbonelo Mkhize with karateka.

DEVELOPING sport in local communities gives young children an opportunity to sharpen their skills in various sporting codes. However, funding remains the main obstacle among emerging sport clubs in under developed countries.

The Umvoti Kyokushin Karate Academy is one of the clubs in South Africa that wants to keep the karate legacy alive.

Six karatekas from the academy will be representing SA in April next year at the International Friendship Karate Championships in Toyko, Japan. The participants include; Andiswa Dlamini (U12 Girls Division), Owami Manqele (U12 Girls Division), Andile Dlamini (U12 Boys Division), Ntandoyenkosi Kwere (U12 Boys Division in the kata category), Phiwokuhle Ngubane (U18 Open Division) and Lonathemba Mashazi (U8 Girls Division).

However, instructor Lungisani Mabaso told the Gazette that the club needs donations from the public in order to attend.

“Umvoti Kyokushin Karate Academy is affiliated to the International Karate Organisation (IKO) Kyokushinkaikan. The IKO is affiliated to the World Karate Federation (WKF). As Umvoti Kyokushin Karate, our academy is also affiliated to Karate South Africa (KSA).

“We appeal to the members of the public to support our karatekas in these upcoming championships that will take place in Japan. We need sponsors who will donate for accommodation, flight tickets, participation fees, fighting equipment and the money to pay for the visas,” Mabaso said.

Umvoti Kyokushin Karate Academy took part in the Regional Tournament held at Dumbe, South of Durban, in March this year.

“We won at the Regional Tournament and qualified for the KZN Karate tournament called Kyokushin-kaikan in July, which was a selection [process] to go to the South African Karate Championships. Six out of nine participants from our club won and were selected to participate in the International Friendship Karate championships that will be held in Tokyo next year. This day will not be a success if we do not receive sponsors who will come on board and assist these children.

“They will be representing Umvoti and Umzinyathi and put South Africa in the map,” Mabaso said.

He added that the aim of the club is to search for local talent in local communities and empower young children with skills.

Mabaso said: “We want to build successful future leaders. The purpose of the club is to build a nation through developing sport in local communities.

“These children are coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, and they are unable to pay for the expenses of the trip.

“I am optimistic that they are going to win in Japan and raise the South African flag high,” he said.

General manager for Umvoti Aids Centre, Sithuthukile Mchunu, said: “We are so proud of the team’s performance; their hard work and dedication [has borne] impressive fruits of five gold and one bronze medal.

“We are grateful for the great effort and collaborations between the parents, Umvoti Kyokushin Karate Academy and Umvoti Aids Centre in the preparations, fundraising and planning for this event. The kindness and generosity of the Department of Sports and Recreation – Kwa­Zulu-Natal, Umvoti Fuel and Oil, Bawaz Furnishers, Min Cash Tyres, individual donations from the community and the prayers from the community for the journey are commendable and greatly appreciated.”

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