Dominican Convent host Interschools karate tourney

Dominican Convent Harare Director of Sport, Farai Kanyenze

DOMINICAN Convent are aiming to extend their dominance in the Annual Clash of the Titans Interschools Karate Championships scheduled for Harare this morning.

Following an impressive medal haul at last year's event, Dominican Convent director of sport Farai Kanyenze is confident that they will once again dominate the 8th Dominican Convent Karate tournament today, with an increased number of participants from the host school.

The tournament will be held at the Veritas Sports Centre, formerly Italian Sports Club.

“We are expecting more than 10 schools and quite a few individuals. We do not have an overall cup, trophy or shield, we only have individual prizes,” Kanyenze told NewsDay Sport.

“This depends on individual prowess and numbers contribute too. Last year, Dominican Convent Harare scooped the most medals and this year with more than 30 athletes participating we anticipate the same.”

Highly experienced karate coach Winston Nyanhete has been coaching all age groups at the Catholic-run girls’ school. Nyanhete is also the Zimbabwe National Karate Federation head coach and will be playing a dual role today as he strives to strike a balance between refereeing and coaching.

“We expect the event to be more organised in terms of starting time. We have always had challenges with athletes registering upon arrival and this takes up most of the event time,” added Kanyenze.

“We have informed schools and individuals to enter their events online earlier and make payments directly to the school to avoid delays. Obviously, we always have those few who miss communication or who just then decide to participate at the last minute.”

The tournament will have a regional flavour with countries such as Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia confirming their participation, creating the much-needed competition.

“Our tournament is one of its kind in the country. It's a replica of the international tours we participate in as well in terms of how we run the tournament. We have authentic officials and equipment, and we also invite athletes from neighbouring countries. Athletes are guaranteed a high level of competition not only from local athletes but from elite regional karatekas too,” Kanyenze said.

She said the tournament's eight-year journey has helped instil confidence in the girls and encouraged more females to take up karate.

“We have achieved a lot. Our ladies have benefited a lot since the time we introduced karate in the school. They have gained confidence, self-discipline, high defense skills and social skills,” Kanyenze said.

“Confidence is gained and rightfully earned in karate for girls. One way is in working toward goals like belts and then feeling the accomplishment of work well-done, that fulfilment is priceless.”

Karate also teaches self-defence which is very helpful to the girls as they can easily protect themselves from abuse.

“Also, the girl-child earns confidence by gaining the ability to physically protect themselves. We are living in a cruel world. It is imperative that the girl-child learn to protect themselves from abusers who take advantage of them,”Kanyenze said.

“When you know you have that ability to defend yourself, you can fearlessly go into the world and focus on enjoying the moment and working on your achievements. As a school, we believe in building a holistic individual, so we always strike a balance in our sporting, cultural and academic performance. For in a healthy body comes a healthy mind.”

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