Females Join Kickboxing Association in South Sudan

October 16, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. kickboxing [kik- BOK-sing] (n.) – a form of martial art characterized by boxing and attacking using the feet
Example: Her foot was badly hurt during the kickboxing match.

2. objection [uhb-JEK-shuh n] (n.) – the act or state of disapproving or disagreeing with an idea
Example: Her proposal was rejected because of the objections of other team members.

3. adamant [AD-uh-muh nt, -mant] (adj.) – determined not to change one’s decisions
Example: The coach is adamant about women being allowed to participate in the competition.

4. minority [mi-NAWR-i-tee, -NOR, -mahy-] (n.) – a smaller group from a larger population that has little power in the society or an organization
ExampleMinority of the women population are training for kickboxing.

5. escalate [ES-kuh-leyt] (v.) – to increase rapidly
Example: A simple argument escalated into a major conflict.


Read the text below.
Two women in Sudan have started making their way into the field of kickboxing, a sport often dominated by men.

Winnie Natasha, a 21-year-old law student at South Sudan’s university in Juba, is one of only two females among 300 members of kickboxing club in Sudan. Natasha started kickboxing only several months ago, after she saw its advertisement on the television. Back then, she was the only female who tried training for kickboxing.

Despite the objections from her family and friends, as well as her minority status in the club, Natasha is adamant that kickboxing is the right choice for her. She insisted that there is nothing wrong with kickboxing, and that it is just like any other sport.

And although she faced challenges, Natasha said that she is driven to train harder because she desires to encourage women to participate not only in kickboxing but also in other sports. Additionally, she aims to be an ambassador of kickboxing someday.

Puro Okelo Obe founded the South Sudan Kickboxing Association in 2008. He aimed to use kickboxing to help end the tribal differences that often escalate into violence in South Sudan.

Obe never expected women to join the kickboxing association. But when Natasha and Adut Bol started training, he willingly welcomed them. His mindset is different from most Sudanese who think that doing sports is not for women.

Most Sudanese believe that playing sports can only make women violent, which can lessen the respect they receive from other people. However, Natasha and Bol may prove that this belief is not necessarily true as they have started to inspire more women to join the kickboxing association.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that women can also play kickboxing like men do? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of women learning kickboxing? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, should women join sports that are dominated by men? Why or why not?
·         Should there be a restriction on which sports women should play? Please explain your answer.


October 16, 2013