Karate struggles on during pandemic

24 June 2020 | Sports



The chief instructor at the Rundu branch of the United World Kyokushin Karate Organisation (UWKKO), Singombe (PS) sat down with Namibian Sun's Kenya Kambowe (KK) to explain how Covid-19 affected the karate classes that he offers.

KK: How has Covid-19 affected the activities of the Kyokushin karate club in Rundu, which is under your leadership?

PS: We were supposed to have our first grading of the year, but we could not do it. Since karate is a contact sport we stopped training to adhere to the regulations of the state of emergency. Secondly, our club was supposed to travel to our headquarters in Durban in April for international training and an evaluation seminar, but we had to postpone our trip.

KK: Prior to the state of emergency, how many students were you training and what is the situation like now after some sports codes were allowed to resume under stage three lockdown?

PS: Prior to the state of emergency, I had 34 active registered students. In stage three, karate was one of the sport codes allowed to resume training, but only kata. That gave us some relief, as training a kata does not require contact but a bigger space is needed. Immediately at the start of stage three some kata students came for training and adhered to the guidelines.

KK: How have parents reacted towards sport during the pandemic?

PS: Our club has parents that understand and follow the state of emergency regulations very well and despite the virus fears some parents decided to allow their children to come for training. They bought face masks and hand sanitisers for their children. Their response is commendable.

KK: What is the current status of the club and how do you take the news that by end of this month the whole country except for the Erongo Region will be migrating to stage four?

PS: Only a few students are coming for training, but I hope during stage four all registered students will come back as well as potential new ones. I'm happy that we are moving to stage four, but at the same time, I'm worried as cases keep increasing. I however believe that our government is working on it. As long as we adhere to the guidelines of wearing a face mask, social distancing and washing of hands regularly, we will overcome this pandemic.

Last but not least, since we halted our first grading of the year, soon my students will be on the floor for grading and we plan to have a Dojo championship during the course of the year.

It should also be noted that our new Dojo for UWKKO situated at Kongola in the Zambezi Region will participate in this championship.

About Kyokushin

It's a full-contact type of karate that originated in Japan. UWKKO's African headquarters are situated in Durban, South Africa.

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