Coastal Weekly

Tongaat karate superstars celebrate victory


SEVERAL Shotokan Karate-do International South Africa (SKISA) Tongaat karate Proteas who regularly practice their sport at the Tongaat Sports Centre during the week under the watchful eye of Grandmaster Sonny Pillay Hanshi expressed their delight with their victory at the recent Commonwealth Karate Championships 2018 hosted by Karate South Africa (KSA) on the shores of the city of Durban.

Top performers, the Reddy siblings Tahira, Kira and Atesh from Gandhinagar once again showed that they are ready for success and bagged two gold and a silver medal.

Tahira Reddy said: “We are very excited to be crowned Commonwealth champions. We will stay focused on our karate practice by regularly attending coaching seminars at the Tongaat Sports Centre under the guidance of our Protea coach Brando Shihan.”

The Reddy siblings attend Ashton International College in the North Coast. Another North Coast SKISA Protea athletes who excelled at the Commonwealth championships was seasoned KSA tournament fighter Dzemil Muric who after a gruelling final bout that he narrowly lost and had to settle for a Silver medal.

Despite not winning the Commonwealth karate title, Muric remained upbeat. He said: “I am firmly focused on winning a WKF world title in the near future.”

As a matter of interest, Muric was an Ashton College student who recently successfully matriculated with a Bachelors pass.

Shakaskraal’s karate fighting machine Ashwariya Ramnarian who found the fighters from abroad very tough made a podium finish having achieved a bronze medal.

Ramnarian said: “I am proud of my performance at the Commonwealth given the high quality of opponents that I faced from around the globe at the event.” Tongaat’s siblings, Yashmika and Terisha Seetharam also were amongst the medallists with Yashmika winning gold, however, Terisha having faced some tough opponents, finished just outside the medals.

Both Terisha and Natayo Perumal who fought gallantly for the Protea team were unable to break down the defense of the opposition in their respective categories especially when they came up against the fighters of team India.

Natayo Perumal said: “We truly believe we are winners by just being on the colossal Commonwealth karate stage, despite not being amongst the medals winners. I tried my best but my opponents were very tough indeed.”

CEO of the championships Sonny Pillay who was democratically elected president of the Commonwealth Karate Nations expressed his delight at the record turnout of karate athletes and Commonwealth countries from around the globe.

“I am proud to say that KSA hosted the largest and most successful Commonwealth karate event ever moreover our sporting authorities will be very pleased I am certain to hear the good news.” He added that karate is an excellent catalyst to shape the future of today’s youth in a positive direction. Pillay said it crucial to recognise that proper qualified karate teachers are role models for today’s youth who need to be molded into credible citizens for the future as they take leadership roles in society.

Pillay who has remained as head of Karate South Africa the governing body for karate in the republic for the past eight years, cautioned the karate loving public to be very aware that the only way for their children to achieve their Karate Olympic dream is through the Karate South Africa (KSA) route more importantly..

He said: “Karate-loving parents must ensure that their children are registered with a club that operates under the jurisdiction of Karate South Africa (KSA).”

He further advised that there were bogus so called karate teachers operating in KZN North Coast with dubious black belt ranks and therefore parents need to do their homework before signing membership contracts with these fakes that pose as karate teachers under false pretenses.

Pillay urged parents to call Karate KZN HQ president Ben Mare Shihan before enrolling their children to any karate classes. Shihan can be contacted on 082 354 4535.

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