Karateka return home

International stage a learning platform

27 July 2021 | Sports

Mayvonne Swart; “Being there, I could tell that we are on the right track.”

Iréne-Mari van der Walt

Swakopmund karateka Mayvonne Swart and Keanu Stuurman have returned home from a recent Olympic qualifier in France.

Despite neither qualifying to represent Namibia at the Olympics, they were both ecstatic to have rubbed shoulders with karateka from all over the world.

“It was a good experience to get to see what the others are doing and improve accordingly; it was a great learning opportunity,” says Keanu Stuurman.

Mayvonne Swart adds that Namibian athletes could do with more exposure to international stages.

“I think our athletes need to go out and compete at similar events more to gain experience, but being there I could tell that we are on the right track,” she says.

Swart adds that this competition helped her to return with more passion for her sport than she had left with.

She explains that she had struggled to balance her studies and sport prior to the competition.

“I found it hard to strike a balance between my studies and my sport but when I went there, I saw that there is a future in the sport and that it is possible to do both,” she says.

Both Mayvonne and Keanu thanked the Swakopmund municipality for the financial aid they provided as well as the nation for their support.

“I think my biggest worry was disappointing people, but we came back and people were still supporting us and proud of us. I could see when the municipality reached out to us that we don’t just do the sport for the love of it but that there are actually people who still care for it and will support us,” says Mayvonne.