From the 3rd to the 5th of December the African Karate Championships (UFAK) will be hosted in Cairo, Egypt.
The tournament is well renowned for being one of the highest platforms on which a karate athlete can compete in Africa, and seen by many as a stepping stone to larger international success. The Tournament as always will feature many of the best athletes on the continent and will be one of the final events in the year in which karateka can accumulate highly sought after WKF ranking points before the start of the 2022 season.
Amongst the athletes striving for continental gold this year will be OGKN’s very own Jewel Slinger and Justin Scholtz.
Both Jewel and Justin have established themselves as two of the most talented up and coming karateka in the country; having both won numerous National and International level medals in both Kata and Kumite. Most notably Jewel who came home with two bronze medals in both disciplines at last years African Karate Championships in Morocco.
As with all sports, to achieve at the highest level of competition requires hours or dedication and hard work. Two things two which Jewel and Justin are no strangers. Both athletes have been highly active members of the Namibian National Karate Team for numerous years whilst still managing to put in the time and effort to stay true to their traditional karate roots. On average, both Jewel and Justin have spent and minimum of 6 hours per week strictly on karate training with their coaches. These included Namibian National Karate Coach Llewellyn Manale, High Performance Sports Karate led by Namibian Team Captain Suzelle Pronk, and international coaches such as Morgan Moss and Troy Futter of South Africa. In addition to their karate training, both athletes have also put in on average 4 hours of additional strength and conditioning training each week at Trinity Fitness Namibia. When asked what was her biggest challenge in the preparation for UFAK 2021, Jewel states “Training week in and week out but I always tried to I make the most of all the training and tried to enjoy every session”.
“With almost an entire year having gone into the preparation for this specific tournament, Jewel and Justin are more prepared than ever before to put their skills to the test on one of the highest platforms for WKF sports karate. I have absolutely no doubt in their abilities, now it’s their turn to go out, have fun and leave it all on the tatami!” – Sensei Stefan van der Merwe, OGKN Sports Karate Coach.
OGKN would like to wish Jewel and Justin the best of luck at the upcoming tournament and thank you both for your continued dedication to taking Namibian Karate to new heights!