Pronk pushes the limits
Taking karate to greater heights
07 July 2020 | Sports
Suzelle Pronk; HPSK Namibia Founder; “The more exposure an athlete can get, the better.”
Multi-award winning Namibian karateka Suzelle Pronk has developed her own initiative, High Performance Sports Karate (HPSK) Namibia.
The initiative is a supplementary training programme for Namibian karateka looking to compete internationally. It will expose athletes to international training techniques provided by coaches and athletes from abroad.
Pronk said that she was delighted at the initiative, which will assist other Namibian karateka.
“It is something completely new to Namibia. I have been planning it for a while and to finally get it off the ground is a proud moment for me,” she said.
Pronk has been training at the SKAI (Shotokan Karate Association International) Namibia for the past 22 years under the guidance of Sensei Valdemar Swart.
The talented athlete is a 13 time national champion, 11 time Region 5 champion, seven time Commonwealth champion, two time student African champion as well as the 2016 World Karate (WKF) Federation grand winner.
Pronk, who is a qualified physiotherapist, explained how the initiative would help groom and improve other Namibian karateka.
“One of the most important lessons I learned whilst competing internationally is that you have to be open to take in, learn and work with different coaches and athletes.”
She said the more exposure an athlete can get, the better.
“This initiative will support athletes looking to compete internationally more often, by not only having them work with the necessary international athletes and coaches, but also by providing those athletes with the support needed when competing on a world stage.”
She believes her initiative will help to better prepare athletes to compete internationally at a higher level through the exposure they receive by joining forces with HPSK Namibia.
Pronk added that she was inspired to come up with HPSK Namibia during the past two years.
She made a big push to compete and train internationally as much as possible. This, she said, led her to identify what is needed by Namibian karate athletes to do the same and achieve greater personal heights.
“I often have younger athletes approaching me and asking about how they can also compete at some of the events I have been attending internationally. I searched for a way in which I to assist and provide them with world-class training from coaches around the world. This is coupled with opportunities for them to work towards travelling more often internationally.”
Pronk’s initiative intends to enhance the training that athletes already receive at their own clubs and supplement the travelling done with the Namibian national karate team.
Sensei Morgan Moss from South Africa already presented some free promotional online classes available to all athletes in June.
The official programme for July commenced last Friday and Pronk hailed it a great success.
Currently, nine athletes are part of HPSK Namibia. They are from three different karate associations, namely: Karate Zen Namibia, Shotokan Karate Association International Namibia and Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karate Namibia.
“We are looking to make contact with Sensei Morgan Moss towards the end of this year. We are also planning to host an international training camp and a tour for 2021, which I am very excited about.”
Pronk thanked the Namibian Amateur Karate Union and its members for supporting the initiative.
Some of the benefits athletes will receive from HPSK include regular training sessions via online platforms, additional training with Pronk, training camps and seminars, and access to platforms where they will have direct contact with international coaches and athletes.
The athletes will also receive support during WKF tournaments, Series A, K1 Premier League and youth league events as well as feedback on competition performances through video analysis.