Karatekas Ready for All Africa Games (allAfrica.com)

A strong nine-member karate team that will represent Namibia at the quadrennial All African Games in Brazzaville, Congo, next month held a training camp in Windhoek last weekend.

The grueling 18-hours of intensive training over three days started last Friday. The team was shepherded by external experts from Botswana, alongside national head coach, Shihan Freddy Mwiya, and his advisor, Shihan Leonard Martin, with a focus on fighting strategies.

‘We are so grateful that you answered our call when we asked for your assistance,’ said the Namibia Karate Union (NAKU) President, Cornelius D’alton, when welcoming the external coaches on Saturday morning.

“History is marked today as this is the very first time Namibia karate hosts external coaches. We hope the relationship we have started now will last,” said NAKU spokesperson, Nichol Sibeso.

Shihan Freddy said Botswana is one of the leading countries in southern Africa when it comes to karate and that it is a great privilege to have some of their coaches to equip local athletes with more skills. He added that it has been his dream to engage with international coaches and other experts to boost the skills of the Namibian karatekas.

The main coach of the weekend, Sensei Moses Jones – a champion both in Botswana and internationally – oozed confidence. He believes the current Namibian team has great potential.

‘I can already see a medal or two’, Sensei Moses said, before adding that the team needs to continue training hard and putting in more work. With only a few weeks left before the games get underway, Mwiya said the team would continue their training with two sessions every day.

Sibeso appealed to stakeholders and interested individuals to assist the team in the form of sponsorships: “We received some funds from the National Sports Commission, but this won’t be enough, because athletes need adequate training equipment, including personal protective fighting equipment.”