The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), at the weekend, held its maiden U-15 Primary/Secondary Schools Taekwondo Tournament sponsored by the Korean Cultural Centre in Nigeria (KCCN).
The tournament, held at the Basketball Hall, Package B of the MKO Abiola Stadium, featured an electronic scoring system, with winners getting medals and certificates.
The competition featured about 240 taekwondo athletes, including 60 from five public schools in Abuja and the KCCN Taekwondo Club.
Among the participating schools were Nigeria-Korea Model School; Junior Secondary School Maitama; Local Education Authority Maitama; Local Education Authority Wuse 2 Zone 1; Local Education Authority Wuse 2, Zone 3 and KCCN Taekwondo Club.
According to the Director of the Korean Cultural Centre in Nigeria (KCCN), Kim Chang-Ki said the Centre’s gesture is to boost grassroots taekwondo in the country, adding said that the sport improves the mentality and responsiveness of individuals.
He said: “The beautiful thing about the teams here today is that four of the schools here began from a KCCN Taekwondo outreach. And your dedication and grit are what brought you this far.
“Remember, gold medals are not really made of gold. They are made of sweat, determination and a rare alloy called courage. This is sportsmanship. The courage to win and the courage to accept temporary loss, because sport is about continuous improvement, as is Taekwondo.
“No matter who emerges with a cup, or a medal, or who doesn’t, there is always room for improvement, always a next time. Just have fun, watch, learn, and be courageous. There are no losers, only skills to be improved upon.”
Excited by the tournament, one of the winners, Gabriel Somtochukwu Emmanuel, called on government and corporate bodies to support young taekwondo stars to attend international championships to broaden their skills in the sport.
He said: “This is my biggest achievement, I am so proud of myself to be a history maker today. I will like to be a lawyer but I seek the government’s support to improve my skills in taekwondo.”