Nova Pioneer Paulshof student, Jiya Soudamma (aged 10) began her karate journey at the age of 4 ½.
“It started off with her being diagnosed with ADHD and karate was a way of getting her to release some of this energy. Little did we know at the time, that it would become her passion and identity. She soon became the “mighty mouse” of her karate club, Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Sunninghill Club and started earning the titles of ‘best junior female’ to ‘best senior female’, ‘student with most medals’, ‘student with most grit’ and the prestige award of “Student of the Year” for 2 consecutive years,” says Jiya’s parents, Mr and Mrs Soudamma. Further to her achievements within the club, Jiya also obtained her Gauteng Karate colours at the age of 8.
She competes in Kata and Kumite which makes her training and dedication even stronger. This sport requires a lot of strength, determination and discipline. As a girl diagnosed with ADHD, having the patience to focus and concentrate on each and every move takes a lot out of her. This dedication has led to Jiya being ranked 3rd for Kumite and 4th for Kata in South Africa. She has represented Gauteng in Karate South Africa league tournaments in KZN, Western Cape, Free State and of course Gauteng where her heart is. Jiya has received over 50 medals to date.
In 2019, Jiya participated in the prestigious Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Sports Championship and was placed 3rd for Kumite at the event. Karate takes up a lot of Jiya’s time with her training at least 3 to 4 times a week and participating in approximately 9 tournaments a year. As a current purple belt student, she often has to balance her time between academics, family and karate.
What is Jiya’s vision of her future in Karate?
To achieve her black belt before the end of grade 12. Jiya continues to receive exceptional support from her parents, her sensei’s – Rajen Moodley and Nad Naicker as well as her family at Nova Pioneer Paulshof.
“Believe in yourself and all that you are, know that there is something inside of you which is greater than any obstacle,” says Jiya.