Madibaz karateka Adre Weideman kept the Nelson Mandela University flag flying high when she claimed four gold medals in a recent national tournament in Stellenbosch.
The 20-year-old human movement science student was the top individual performer in the kata and kumite categories at the Goju Kai tournament last month.
Representing Eastern Province, she also picked up two team golds in the same disciplines.
The outcome boosted Weideman’s confidence as she went into the tournament having recently recovered from an injury, as well as juggling her academic commitments.
“Apart from all the insecurities about whether I had trained enough and if I had fully recovered, these medals have provided the motivation for me to keep pushing and to believe in myself.”
She added that constant motivation from her coaches Shihan Clayton Thom and sensei Warda Mallick, as well her family, had played a big part in her success.
Another factor was competing alongside her sister, Luchay, a Grade 10 pupil at St James High.
“She is a world medallist [in her age-group] and just competing with her made me bring my best to the table,” she said.
“I wanted to give my all the same way she gives her all – to match her fearless attitude in competition definitely gave me the edge I needed.”
Her results cap a year in which she has had to juggle a karate career with study commitments.
“However, to know that I have made my parents, senseis, friends and family proud makes it all worth it,” said Weideman.
Madibaz Karate manager Bernard Petersen said they were proud of Weideman’s efforts as she helped to strengthen the university brand.
“Adre missed the opportunity this year to go to Japan with the USSA [University Sport South Africa] team due to a lack of funding and her results in Stellenbosch are an indication of what a strong competitor she is.”