By: LINDELWA NXELE
The Joza Karate club together with Love Life organized a sports day on Saturday 16 March, in order to raise funds to send four local karateka to the World Union of Karate-Do Federations (WUKF) World Championships in Slovakia in June.
The Joza Karate Club has been in existence since 2004, when it was founded by Mzwandile Matebese (Fourth Dan black belt). Matebese is still the Club’s Head Coach. Classes are held at the Joza Indoor Sports Centre in Extension 6 from Monday to Thursday from 5pm to 6pm.
The day started with a 5km run, which Lubabalo Bokuva, who is a runner and a boxer at the Mfuzo Boxing Club (Luxolweni Location), won effortlessly, taking only 22 minutes to complete the race. When asked what he thought of the race, Bokuva said, “I enjoy running, this was good. It’s nice to have activities like these here in the township, often races like these are held in town”.
Moreover, Siphosethu Dawethu, who is also from Mfuzo Boxing Club, took home the First place title for the female racers. When asked why she decided to join the race, she said, “It will help me with my fitness levels, and it’s also to support each other. Irace ibiright, ibimnandi”.
They both agreed that this should not be the last race, and that similar events should be held constantly, as it is a good way of bringing together sports clubs based in the townships, as well as a way of supporting each other. The runners were all awarded gold medals on reaching the finish line.
The race was followed by karate and aerobics demonstrations. The Joza Karateka demonstrated various techniques and training exercises from the Shotokan Style, which included separate demonstrations by the yellow and orange belt karateka followed by the senior black belt karateka. There were also group demonstrations comprising of kata (forms) and self-defense applications. Additional photos and videos of the karate demonstrations can be viewed on the JKC Facebook page. The local aerobics clubs also used the opportunity to showcase their prowess with a one hour aerobics marathon. All in all, it was an exciting and fruitful event for all those involved.
The only disappointing factor was the crowd turn out. Whilst the event was advertised in the local press and on various social media platforms, very few people attended and participated in the event. There could be a number of factors why it turned out like this, but the organisers believe that since it was the first initiative, it was a success, and as they continue hosting more events, they hope that the Makhanda community will show greater support.
Events such as these encourage cohesive fellowship amongst local sports people while supporting young talent in realising their potential at national or international level.
More importantly support, participation and contributions from the greater Makhanda community would not only be an indication of our society’s willingness to recognise and invest in our youth, but it would also assist in building bridges which transcend socioeconomic factors and the various challenges which we face, as we strive towards a united community.
If anyone would like to make contributions towards the four athletes’ expenses in travelling to the WUKF World Championship please contact Sensei Gary Grapentin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sensei Mzwandile Matebese at email@example.com.