Munyaradzi Chiwanza, Bloemfontein
ELVIS Tshaka was duly crowned as this year’s Free State Karate Federation’s under-21 outstanding achiever at a ceremony held at the University of the Free State last month.
The annual prize giving ceremony saw the 21-year-old karateka being rewarded for his efforts in 2013 together with 12 other karatekas who were lavished with Free State and national colours awards.
In 2013 alone Tshaka hauled a total of 12 medals which included eight gold, three silver and one bronze medal in the more than a dozen tournaments which saw him conquer the world.
“I feel great and I didn’t believe that I would beat the other five contestants especially John Williams who went to the World Champions, amazingly I was awarded the first prize,” Tshaka told the Free State Times this week.
Nominated for his sheer hard work and amassing a dozen medals the young karateka is also the Central University of Technology’s karate club coach.
“I trained hard this year and I was focussed with my training. I also watched a lot of motivational karate videos and I was inspired to train and compete to win,” said Tshaka.
Tshaka who hails from Botshabelo attributed his success to the knowledge he has received from sensei Ian Le Roux and Nechodemus Banyane.
He added: “I have learned to be disciplined from my coaches and they were always there for me to guide me whenever I trained and fought.”
The CUT student reckoned the exposure and experience he has acquired while fighting outside the country as having catapulted him to victory when he encountered local fighters this year.
“The standard is high and the competition is tough outside the country and when you finally fight at home it becomes easy because one would have fought against some of the world’s best,” he said.
The young karateka who recently fought during the University Sports South Africa and won a silver medal and a gold medal in the u/60kg category and male open division respectively has come a long way in having achieved these awards.
“If you work hard you will get what you deserve and that is all that I have been doing,” Tshaka said.
Other winners on the night included Katleho Mokebe who won the children’s karate player of the year award with Zanele Thela being crowned women’s karateka achiever of the year and Wim Boshoff was voted as the under-21 karate player of the year.
Elsebe Le Roux was honoured as the female karateka player of the year and coach of the year went to sensei Quentin Rourke.