CANCER AWARENESS PROJECT
An article of our Dojo was posted in the
Potchefstroom Herald on 10 November 2017.
The karateka (karate students) of Steyn
Dojo, a World Shotokan Karate-do Federation
(WSKF) affiliated dojo in Potchefstroom,
took part in a project to raise awareness
during National Cancer Awareness Month. By
following an active and healthy lifestyle,
the risk of being diagnosed with cancer can
significantly be reduced.
The project entailed all students to train
in pink karate belts during October.
According to Stephan and Zilla Steyn, both
4th Dan black belts and Dojo heads of Steyn
Dojo, the pink belts were a constant
reminder that we are privileged enough to be
healthy and able to do and teach a sport
that we are passionate about.
Students vowed to train extra hard during
Cancer Awareness Month for those patients
affected by cancer and maybe not able to be
as active as they would have liked to be.
Therefore, T-shirts with the phrase "I can
fight cancer" were also sold to raise funds
for CANSA Potchefstroom. "The phrase on the
shirts actually extended beyond patients
fighting a daily battle against cancer. In
fact, our dojo’s motto on social media
throughout the October campaign was #icanfightforyou
and #iwillfightforyou", says Zilla.
According to Stephan, the dojo also took
part in the local Park Run event during
October, competing in their dojo shirts to
further raise awareness. At the end of
October, Mike Dukas Shihan (8th Dan Chief
instructor of WSKF South Africa) also
visited the dojo, giving a special class, in
line with the CANSA project.
‘Mike Shihan gave a very special stretching
class when he visited. The class made me
realize that even static and ‘easy’
movements that we generally take for
granted, might be too much of an effort for
a patient with advanced cancer,’ says
Brandon Shepherd, a 3rd Dan senior assistant
instructor at Steyn Dojo.
Finally, at the end of the month, Isabel
Minnaar, a representative of CANSA
Potchefstroom, was invited to the dojo where
a donation, generated by T-shirt and pink
belt sales, and kind donations from dojo
members was handed over to support the good
work being done in our community.
‘Karate is something that anyone of any age
can do, and following this project, we and
our students are even more set on training
to our full potential, just because we are
privileged enough to do so,’ says Stephan.
‘In fact, our adult class, a special class
started to accommodate university students
and adults in their karate career, and our
fitness class (a general fitness class for
non-karate adults) have grown in numbers.
Our dojo will definitely take part in
similar events in the future.’