Grassy Park’s Ashihara Karate, in association with South Peninsula High School, organised the Blind Buddy Benefit Karate Championships, in Diep River, a fortnight ago.
Over 250 contestants from 10 martial arts schools took part in the charity event, including the SA Gorei, RJ Dragons Kenpo Karate, from Delft, Kenwyn Martial Arts, Golden Dragon Ninja School and other dojos coming from as far afield as Worcester and Clanwilliam.
Ashihara Karate’s shihan and organiser, Hoosain Narker said the karatekas were thrilled to be a part of the tournament, especially those who last participated before the Covid-19 pandemic started.
“Competitors participated in forms, weapons and fighting, and for many, it was their first tournament ever and for the more experienced, the first since pre-Covid so some were still rusty,” he said.
Some notable wins in the boys’ 5-year-old kata division saw Eesa Hoosain, from Edgemead Primary School, taking first place.
Star College’s Ayad Daniels, from Sybrand Park in Athlone, took second place, with Zaeem Makda-Patel, from Kenywn, taking a joint third-place with Lethabo Phafuli, from Holy Cross Convent in Brooklyn.
In the 7year-old kata division, Brooklyn’s Yohann Kangweji, from Holy Cross, won a gold medal, followed by Atlehang Ngcongco and Ivan Chanda, in second and third place, both from Holy Cross. Chanda was in joint third position with Grassy Park’s Isa Hercules.
In the boys under-9 kata division, Grassy Park’s Russel Chicheko won a gold medal. Keyaan Tofie, from Wynberg, received a silver medal, and Alexander Goslett, from Plumstead, won a bronze medal.
In the girls under-11 kata division, League of Friends of the Blind’s Sadiya Narker took first place. Wynberg’s Saara Brey won a silver medal. Kenpo Mitchell’s Plains’ Ricarlin Abrahams and Kenou Smous, from Khayelitsha, were both in third place.
Narker applauded the participants as well as the spectators who came out in numbers to support their young karatekas and the elderly family members that participated on the weekend.
“Spectators of which many were parents were enthralled at the performances of their children. The youngest competitor was 5 years of age with the oldest well over 50. Starting at 9am, with smooth management, the event finished at 3.30pm,” he said.