By Bongani Tshabalala
“We are fighting against the best in the country and we cannot afford to be complacent”, said Sensei Banyane.
Free State Karate Academy (Karate High-Performance Centre) will take part in their first national championship in Durban, Mpumalanga.
The tournament will take part from March 19-21.
The Free State team will be led by the respected Sensei Nechodemus ‘Black Cheetah’ Banyane who is the highest qualified coach in the country. He is an WKF international licensed coach and the current Karate South Africa u21, Senior, and Master head coach.
Banyane added a feather cap when he was appointed the Veterans head coach on January 30, at the KSA technical congress.
Following his return to the helm as caretaker head coach of the Karate High-Performance Centre, the talented coach will be assisted by Sensei Sandile Makwali. The two have worked and known each other for years.
Makwali expressed his gratitude to work and learn from his former coach who propelled him to become one of the top karatekas in the country at some point.
This year Karate South Africa will be participating in several international competition including UFAK Regions South Championships to be held in Gauteng from June 4-6, WKF Youth Camp & Cup in Croatia from June 28-July 4, UFAK Junior & Senior Championships in Egypt from August 21-29 and WKF Seniors World Championship in Dubai from November 16-21.
In the recent interview, Banyane said,
“I’m ready as always to share the gift am blessed with others. It’s the best or nothing for me and that’s what I hope to impart on the team as we head into different tournaments be it at the local or international front.”
He further noted, “Free State has the talent to deliver the goods at the provincial level as they have done for the country on national and international level, therefore we expect nothing less in the coming tournament in Mpumalanga.”
Reflecting on the appointment of Makwali as new assistant coach, Banyane said, “Being part of the team will be a morale booster for the athletes who are familiar with him as a former athlete himself.”
Athletes have welcomed the return of Banyane back to the fold saying. “Sensei Necho is unstoppable; he is very skilled and talented. He knows how to coach and to read the fight. It is not a surprise that he has been appointed as the senior head coach of Karate South Africa for five years, which on its own speaks volumes about his ability as a coach,” said Elvis Tshaka from Botshabelo Karate Club.
While Banyane vowed to deliver good results for the province, he cautioned against complacency. “We are fighting against the best in the country and we cannot afford to be complacent,” he said.