UCT karate kid kicks tush

15 May 2006

At just 20, commerce student Thabiso Nkile is already something of a veteran of the world karate circuit. And a good one at that. Back in 2004, aged just 18, he was part of the Botswana senior team that shone at the Kofukan (it's a particular style of karate) world championship in Paris, France. Nkile picked up second spot in the individual competition on that occasion, and helped his country to an unlikely team win. And if it wasn't for studies and injuries, he may have landed a few more wins elsewhere around the globe last year. He hasn't done too badly by himself in 2006, though.

So far this year he's won both the Western Province title and the South African Student Sports Union (SASSU) gold medal. And at the end of April, representing Botswana, he also took home the silver medal at the World Kofukan Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. Not bad, as he was fighting a little out of his weight range - usually he's in the under-65kg pack, but had to compete in the under-68kg category in Copenhagen. Nkile will be spending plenty more time in the dojo with sensei Saddiyya Larney, a commerce student at UCT who dons a black belt when on the mat, in 2006. His schedule, if it all comes together, is daunting.

Between studies, he'd like to take part in the World University Games of the in New York, the Senior World Kofukan Championships in Finland, and the African University Games in Pretoria, all coming up over the next few months. Make more space in the trophy cabinet, please.

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