A TWO-WEEK international taekwondo technical course is underway at the Blantyre Youth Centre with a South Korean grandmaster, Lee Byoung Ho, providing the expertise.
Participants to the coaching and grading course, organised by the Taekwondo Association of Malawi with support from the International Olympic Committee, have been drawn from Zimbabwe, Lesotho and hosts Malawi.
The game’s local national coach, Lovemore Masinga, said he initiated the course after meeting Byoung Ho during the World Taekwondo Championship held in Seoul, South Korea, early this year.
“I asked Byoung Ho to come to Malawi and train us in preparation for various international competitions. As Malawi, we would also like to compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“He is a veteran of the game. He has been there for quite a long time and has a lot to teach us. We extended the invitation to other southern African countries and Lesotho and Zimbabwe sent their representatives,” Masinga said.
Byoung Ho said he accepted the invitation after realising that he could help Malawian players improve their game.
“Taekwondo in Malawi is like a baby that needs to be nurtured. I saw the gap that exists in the local game and told myself that I could help in filling it. And my coming has helped me to see for myself the areas that need attention,” Byoung said. He said from what he had seen, taekwondo has the potential to develop in the country.
Mojapelo Mefane, who is a master of the game in Lesotho, said he was asked by his country’s taekwondo governing body to attend the course because Byoung Ho has helped many African countries to perform well in international competitions.
Mefane said the course will help uplift standards of the game across the entire southern African region as participants will share the knowledge gained with their counterparts in other countries.
Some of the topics being covered at the course are taekwondo history, taekwondo courtesy, basic movement, basic kicking, how to stretch and running kick techniques. The course ends on Thursday.
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