Karateka in the Ugu region were among those honoured for their achievements throughout the year during the annual KwaZulu-Natal Karate Awards ceremony held in Durban recently.
The big winner was Wian de Beer, a student from Suid-Natal Martial Arts Academy, who was named Junior Sportsman of the Year for 2019. This is the first time a karateka from the Ugu region has achieved such a prestigious award.
Wian is currently unbeaten at national level and achieved gold medals at both South African Karate National Championships held in Cape Town and Durban earlier this year. He also won gold at the Arnold Classic Sports Festival held in Johannesburg.
After being awarded his Protea colours, he was chosen to represent South Africa at the AUSC Region 5 Championship, held in Swakopmund Namibia. Seven countries from the Southern African region were represented, with Wian managing to fight his way to a bronze medal.
He was also selected to represent South Africa (in the U12 division) at the Karate World Youth Training Camp and Cup held in Umag, Croatia in Europe. This annual event is attended by 80 countries worldwide. After competing against the best karateka in the world, Wian managed a respectable seventh place.
“We are extremely proud of Wian’s hard work and achievements this year, especially being crowned KZN Karate Junior Sportsman of the Year 2019,” said Sensei Coenie Vrey.