DUT karate coach aims to kick high in Japan competition

The Durban University of Technology Karate coach who is also a student, Gugulethu Mngomezulu. Picture supplied.

The Durban University of Technology Karate coach who is also a student, Gugulethu Mngomezulu. Picture supplied.

Published Oct 16, 2023


Durban — A Durban University of Technology karate coach, who is also a student, Gugulethu Mngomezulu, hopes to do well at her third stint at the upcoming 13th World Tournament Championships in Japan.

The championships, which take place every four years, will be held over five days, from November 15 to 19.

“This is a big opportunity for me. I won’t lie, it means a lot to me. The first time I went to Japan, I was in primary school. I was 13, and I got kicked out early in the competition. I was still young.

“The second time I lost in the quarter-finals. So this time, it is different. I need to do well. I do have experience, and I’m representing my country. I’m hoping for the finals, if not at least the semi-finals,’’ she said.

Mngomezulu, who is studying for an Advanced Diploma in Information Communications and Technologies, was selected to represent South Africa at the 2023 University Sport South Africa games that took place in East London.

Mngomezulu, who is from Empangeni, and has been coaching females and males for the past five years, said: “Preparations are going well, but they have been tough because I have to transition from my normal training to adapt to a new style of training. Like right now I have to train three times a day. But I’m ready and excited as well.”

Mngomezulu also reflected on challenges that come with being a female karate coach.

“When you are a female coach there is a lot of underestimation, but it is just part of the game. It is just a matter of proving yourself to do better. Being there for players and staying humble.

“People see you through your actions, regardless of your gender. Always mean well, and by the seriousness of my achievements, putting myself in fire just to teach them, it shows that I’m a great leader, and they can tell as well,” she said.

Mngomezulu urged women to take part in combat sports.

“When it comes to combat sports, women are not that many. I want to encourage them to take part in such sports because it is not only important for self-defence, it teaches more discipline and consistency in all aspects of your life. To know how to defend yourself when you are in unfortunate situations, to push your limits, and always aim high,” she said.

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