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Kensington teenagers will represent South Africa at the World Goju-Ryu Karate Championship in Europe
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Kensington teenagers will represent South Africa at the World Goju-Ryu Karate Championship in Europe

Kensington teenagers will represent South Africa at the World Goju-Ryu Karate Championship in Europe

Hanaah Sheik, Rania Gamieldien and Miengaah Hendricks from the Kensington Karate School fly to Austria. The photo shows Tharwa Hendricks, lead instructor. PHOTO: KAYLYNNE BANTOM

  • Three teenagers from Kensington will fly the South African flag high in Europe after qualifying to compete in the World Goju-Ryu Karate Federation (WGKF) championship later this year.
  • Hanaah Sheik, Rania Gamieldien and Miengaah Hendricks from the Kensington Karate School will fly to Austria in September for the 7th edition of the championship.
  • The competition, which takes place from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 September, will feature Goju-Ryu practitioners from all over the world.

Three teenagers from Kensington will fly the South African flag high in Europe after qualifying to compete in the World Goju-Ryu Karate Federation (WGKF) championship later this year.

Hanaah Sheik, Rania Gamieldien and Miengaah Hendricks from the Kensington Karate School will fly to Austria in September for the 7th edition of the championship.

The competition, which takes place from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 September, will feature Goju-Ryu practitioners from all over the world.

Sheik (13) makes her debut at the competition while Gamieldien and Hendricks participate for the third time (“Kensington karate kids return from ‘intimidating’ trip to world champions in Italy”, VolkspostSeptember 27, 2022).

Gamieldien and Hendricks, both 18 years old, managed to achieve their black belts in karate last year, an incredible achievement considering they were in matric.

Sheik explained that she was excited to participate in the competition.

“I’m nervous and excited. But I’m also scared because I don’t know what to expect.”

She explained that she first became interested in the sport at the age of six, did it for a year, but then decided to try gymnastics.

But two years ago the karate bug struck again and she returned to karate school.

“I enjoy how all the movements fit together and how interesting it is.”

The trio will compete in three divisions: kata, kumite and team kumite.

Gamieldien said she is looking forward to the championship.

Gamieldien said:

“I now have an idea of ​​what to expect, but it’s still nerve-wracking because the competition is getting tougher. I’m just excited to represent the country and I hope it goes well. I want to show other young people from our area that they can do it too.”

Hendricks explained that karate has allowed her to travel and see other parts of the world.

“Without karate I wouldn’t have been able to travel and visit all the places.”

The group said that while they hope to perform well enough to take home a medal, the fact that they can compete on a world stage is already a victory for them.

Tharwa Hendricks, lead instructor, said they each need about R50,000 to pay for equipment, airfare and accommodation.

“We try to raise money through fundraising events. Financing is always a challenge. Their clothes alone cost between R1 200 and R3 000.

“We call on companies to support them.”

Tharwa explains that despite the financial constraints, the trio is “putting Kensington on the map.”

“When any of the kids qualify to compete, I want to cry. When they go to tournaments, they show that they have worked hard. This is a great opportunity for the girls.

Rania and Miengaah have been with me since they were six years old, so seeing how they have grown makes me proud. I have literally seen them become young adults.”

Hanaah’s mother, A-isha, said she is proud of her daughter’s achievement.

“Years of hard work are paying off. We are proud of her for persevering. We gave her the freedom to decide what to do.”

She will accompany her daughter and explains that she is excited to travel for the first time.

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