Athlone teen, ranked No 1 for karate in her category, to represent country in Egypt
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Cape Town - An Athlone teenager is following in her family’s unconventional footsteps, which will now see her representing her country at the United Federation of Karate (UFAK) Championships in Egypt.
The Grade 10 Sans Souci Girls’ High School learner Zahra Boltman, 16, from Silvertown Athlone was informed by Karate South Africa in September that she would be representing the country in the 2021 UFAK Senior, Junior and Cadet Championships from December 3-5.
Boltman is currently ranked No 1 in the Cadet Girls Kumite 14/15 years category by Karate SA.
The youngest of six children, Boltman said she was introduced to the sport by her siblings.
“Kumite is fighting with your opponent and Goju is a style of karate. I was inspired by my eldest sister who also did karate from the age of seven up until 19 years and then I have my middle sister that started with me and we both received our Protea colours in 2018,” said Boltman.
Boltman said her ultimate goal would be to represent her country at the Olympics.
“I would just like to thank each and everyone who helped in contributing towards my trip. Small or big, even though I still have a shortfall, I appreciate everything they did, especially my parents who are selling food and koeksisters on a regular basis to raise funds for me to go to Egypt.”
Mother Nuraan Boltman said the family were beyond proud of her achievements and are determined to see this realised.
“It’s very expensive. It cost us thousands of rand to get her to compete in almost every tournament where she could accumulate points, therefore she is ranked No 1 for Kata and Kumite and therefore she was chosen to represent South Africa as only No 1s are chosen. But yes we want to give her this opportunity. She has worked extremely hard to get there.”
Nuraan said around R10 000 is still needed to cover the various trip expenses.
Sans Souci Girls’ High School principal Ruschda O’Shea said: “She has not allowed Covid-19 and the stresses of being in Grade 10 keep her from achieving this great honour of representing South Africa. We wish her well and know that she will as in the past bring home a medal or two.”