Kensington karate kids return from ‘intimidating’ trip to World Champs in Italy

Miengaah Hendricks and Rania Gamieldien proudly boast their bronze medal with Sensei Tharwa Hendricks.  PHOTO: delivered

Miengaah Hendricks and Rania Gamieldien proudly boast their bronze medal with Sensei Tharwa Hendricks. PHOTO: delivered

They came, they saw and they conquered.

Kensington teenagers Miengaah Hendricks and Rania Gamieldien each earned a bronze medal in the junior female kumite class after competing at the 6th World Goju Ryu Karate Federation (WGKF) in Italy earlier this month.

The WGKF brings together Goju-ryu practitioners from around the world in a single competition.

It took place from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th September.

Hendricks and Gamieldien were part of a team of Goju Ryu practitioners from South Africa representing the country in Italy.

Due to the pandemic, the duo were unable to compete and had to practice virtually.

The teenagers were also part of the South African team representing the country at the 5th WGKF 2019 in Malaysia.

Also Read :  Google to offer search tools for more sustainable travel

Tharwa Hendricks, sensei at Kensington Karate School, says 17 countries took part in the championship, with the South African team being the only group from the African continent.

Overall, the South African team finished fourth with 10 gold medals, seven silver medals and 19 bronze medals.

Tharwa says she is proud of the girls’ performance.

“They had a lot of nerves. The competition was tough, but I kept encouraging them and telling them to just do their best. They showed a good performance.”

Tharwa, who qualified as a WGKF referee, says she is happy to referee on the international stage.

“I studied on the plane to make sure I knew all the rules for the competition. It was nerve-wracking, but I’m glad I got to represent the country at the SA referees. It was a hectic tournament.”

Hendricks says she’s happy with her performance.

Also Read :  OLIVER HOLT: Gareth Southgate deserves far better than to be booed by England fans

“I was nervous. But it was a good experience. We’re happy with the medals we’ve won and how we’ve done in the championship.”

Gamieldien says: “We had to compete individually, so I couldn’t see how Miengaah was doing and she couldn’t see me. My goal was to do my best. It was a good experience. It was intimidating but I’m glad we got medals.”

Gamieldien and Hendricks both reiterated that their goal now is to achieve black belt. They are both currently brown belt candidates.

As soon as the Year 11 students arrived on home soil on Thursday, September 15, they immediately turned back to their textbooks as part of their preparation for September’s exams.

Gamieldien says: “We missed two weeks of school work, so we have to catch up and take exams. Now we have to learn, because our goal is to graduate next year.”

Also Read :  US Airport Websites Targeted by Russian KillNet Group

Tharwa reiterated the need for people and sponsors to get involved to support sporting codes such as karate and many others.

“We have many children from the community who need additional help. Our dream is to involve the community and send the children abroad. We have a lot of potential in our field and it doesn’t show up because karate is a self-funded sport. So finances are always an issue.”

Gamieldien thanked everyone who supported her and made her trip to Italy possible.

“We were in Italy for the first time. We met the people and did some sightseeing. The trip to Venice was also a highlight. Thank you to everyone who helped us, especially our families and sensei and the media who covered our journey.”