THE Matabeleland Karate Union (MKU) is ready for the Champion of Champions tournament to be held in Harare on Saturday.
MKU sankukai style chief instructor Elias Mwanaka yesterday said they were confident of success.
“We are now ready for the tournament and are working on a team of 10 athletes who will represent the province in Harare.
“We are expecting to leave Bulawayo on Friday (tomorrow) evening. We hope our athletes will bring pieces of silverware,” Mwanaka said.
MKU draws athletes from Tsholotsho and Bulawayo Dragons Karate academies. Prince Mangwa, Prince Chinamasa, Victor Ncube, Maclaud Vengesai, Mercy Maphosa, Nqobizitha Ncube, Collen Banda, Joseph Nkatha, Obert Rwayendepi, Sebenzile Sibanda and Gugulethu Ncube complete the 10 athletes that will represent MKU in the tournament.
Mwanaka said although they were prepared for the tournament, it has not all gone down well for them as they were hampered by financial constraints.
“It is saddening that as we are preparing for the tournament we are having financial problems. We were expecting to raise a team of about 20 athletes, but we have failed,” he said.
Karate is one sporting discipline in Zimbabwe that has endured a lot of financial misfortunes as athletes ended up digging deep into their coffers to take part in competitions.
They have always taken care of their travelling costs, food, kits and other necessities. The Champion of Champions tournament will see athletes from four active provinces — Matabeleland, the Midlands, Harare and Triangle — battling it out in all karate styles for individual awards.
The Midlands’ national heavyweight champion Victor Bhunu, teammate and national captain David Dube, Golden Musiyiwa and Zimbabwe lightweight representative Simbarashe Chihlaba are also expected to take part. The Midlands and Triangle reached the finals of an inter-provincial tournament held at Drill Hall, Bulawayo, last month.