Martial arts mom fired up for challenge

A NELSON Mandela Bay kickboxing mother will compete at an international tournament later this year.

Madricia Stallenberg, 33, is the only Eastern Cape senior female kickboxer who will represent South Africa at the Kickboxing World Championships in Antalya, Turkey, from November 30 to December 8.

Stallenberg – who lives in Young Park, Port Elizabeth – said though she was looking forward to fighting in Turkey, she was also nervous.

"I started kickboxing because I love contact sport. Spending time in [my training] club is a good way to take out my frustrations," she said.

The trip to Turkey will cost her about R24000, which she needs to raise.

"We do not get government funding."

She has been training four days a week in preparation for the tournament. Also, she has intensified her cardio routine.

Stallenberg competed at a South African kickboxing tournament in Oudtshoorn in June, after which her selection to fight in Turkey was announced at the end of July.

The 33-year-old has Eastern Province colours and fights in the senior women's under-65kg category.

"I have to maintain my weight, so I try to eat healthily.

"Kickboxing is an awesome sport, and I recommend others [to try it]. It gives you the feeling of being a strong person ..."

Shihan Shaun Romer, 49, who has been kickboxing for 20 years, said Stallenberg was "fired up".

"She had a goal, that was to fight representing South Africa [in Turkey].

"She is putting in extra training. She even fights the men in the club to get used to hard punches and kicks," Romer said.

Sensei Siobhan Dooley, 35, who puts in the extra hours training with Stallenberg, described her as a "disciplined and dedicated fighter".