… As financial woes slash team
By John Tuerijama
THE Namibia Karate Union (NAKU), which was initially scheduled to send a four-member national team to the African Karate Championships for Junior Ladies, taking place in Cameroon on 2 to 3 June, has trimmed its team down to one.
NAKU President, Cornelius D’Alton, told Confidente that they initially wanted to send four athletes to the championships, but could not do so, because of a lack of funding.
“We have requested for financial assistance from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), but I understand the economic difficulties that the country is facing. I know it’s very disappointing. We, as NAKU, really need to strategise and see how best we can have our athletes compete at qualifying events,” he said.
The African Karate Championships for Junior Ladies serve as one of the qualifying events for the 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled for Tokyo, Japan.
The event sees athletes competing for points, to ensure that they garner enough to book their places for Japan.
D’Alton said their target is the 2020 Olympic Games, as well as the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018, where they want to feature more of Namibia’s junior athletes.
Katelin Martin’s father and coach, Leonard Martin, has managed to raise over N$45 000 for him and his daughter to make the trip to Cameroon, without any financial assistance from NAKU or the NSC.
“I have raised that amount for our travelling and accommodation. I have a three-year plan for my daughter, and there is no way that I will deny her that opportunity,” said the coach.
He said that during his karate career, he had competed in almost all international events, except the Olympic Games.
However, he is confident of ensuring that his daughter will qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games, by earning enough qualifying points.
“I know that if she qualifies for the 2020 Olympic Games, my dream will be fulfilled, as I will be there as her coach,” the proud father said.
Conselect Engineering pays NAKU’s affiliation annual affiliation fee to the African Karate Federation, which has ensured Katelin’s participation this weekend.
Martin said he is extremely happy with his daughter’s achievements, after she was presented with her national colours and the code of conduct at the NSC head office in Eros on Monday.
The African Karate Championships for Junior Ladies will feature 12 countries. When asked about her preparation for the championships, Katelin said she feels ready, and is well-prepared and not under any pressure.
“I am really not nervous, because I have been doing what I truly love,” she said.
Katelin came fifth overall at the 2015 All-Africa Games held in Congo-Brazzaville.
SA freestyler to dazzle
By John Tuerijama
SOUTH African freestyle football icon, Chris Njokwana, is set to showcase his talents at the 2017 Namibia Tourism Expo, and is scheduled to perform at the Windhoek Show Grounds this Friday and Saturday.
Hundreds of football lovers are anticipated to attend the tourism expo, in the hope of catching a glimpse of the world-acclaimed Njokwana.
Red Bull Namibia Wings Team Leader, Bianca van der Westhuizen, told Confidente that they decided to bring Njokwana to Namibia, because of his brilliant skills.
“He is a well-known athlete, who won the 2008 Red Bull Street Style competition in Brazil, and since football is our number one sport, young and old can certainly look forward to a great showing by Njokwana,” said Van der Westhuizen.
Njokwana grew up in Langa township situated on the outskirts of Cape Town, but currently lives in Johannesburg.
He studied graphic design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and as for his passion for football, the freestyle football icon previously played for various professional youth teams.
Njokwana became popular through a television advert, when he famously juggled a ball up and down a staircase, while carrying a glass of milk.
He started concentrating on his freestyle football at the age of 19, and in 2003 he outsmarted over 100 freestylers, to win the South African Nike Freestyle crown.
In 2008, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) football freestyler won the Red Bull Street Style competition in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Njokwana has taught his freestyle tricks to some of South African biggest footballing greats, including Doctor Khumalo, aka 16 Valve, a star midfielder, during his glory days at Premier Soccer League (PSL) giants Kaizer Chiefs, and for Bafana Bafana.
Simba Murumo, a retired South African striker, who also played for Italy’s Inter Milan Youth Academy, also benefited from Njokwana’s tutoring.
Another South African who handsomely made use of Njokwana’s magical teachings, was Dillon Sheppard, a former national team left-winger.
Njokwana has travelled to over 54 countries, where he showed off his talent and skill, and Namibian audiences are in for a real treat.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015