MASERU — World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) grand master coach Suk Kyun Kim says the future of taekwondo in Lesotho is bright.
He said he was impressed by the quality of the taekwondo coaches he is currently training.
Kim, a Korean national with an impressive taekwondo background, is currently in the country training 30 local taekwondo coaches for two weeks at Sefika High School.
The standards of taekwondo started deteriorating in the late 1990’s when the army recalled its taekwondo coaches in the districts.
The army taekwondo coaches had been posted in the districts to groom and nurture players.
“I have been with these coaches for 10 days now and I can bravely say that they have excellent coaching qualities and are willing to do anything to help improve the standard of taekwondo in Lesotho,” Kim said.
He told the Sunday Express their hunger to improve their coaching skills will help the country perform well internationally.
“The coaches are very passionate about improving their coaching skills and are also working hard to ensure that they help improve as individuals.
“With this kind of commitment and eagerness to learn, I am sure Lesotho can be able to reclaim its top spot internationally,” he said.
Lesotho Taekwondo Association (LTA) public relations officer, Likhama Leuta, said Kim’s training workshop will help increase the number of qualified coaches in the districts.
Leuta said Lesotho has been affected by lack of permanent taekwondo coaches in the districts after the army withdrew their coaches in the districts.
He said the 30 coaches that are currently undergoing training at Sefika High School are from 10 districts of the country.
“We made sure that each district is represented because we want them to go back to their respective districts to identify, groom and nurture talent at grassroots level,” Leuta said.
He said this will help the association to have a strong national team in future as the players are selected from district teams.
He said these 30 coaches were selected based on their commitment and hard work.
Meanwhile, LTA vice-president Mojalefa ’Mefane said they are hoping Lesotho will be one of the lucky countries when the Triatatite Commission announces the four taekwondo players that will compete in next month’s London 2012 Olympic Games.
Lesotho is hoping that athletes ’Mamoroallo Tjoka, Tsotang Maine, Selloane Tšoaeli and Mosito Lehata, boxer Moroke Mokhotho and taekwondo player Lineo Mochesane will compete at the Olympic Games through the back door after they failed to qualify for these games.
Triatatite Commission is yet to announce its verdict of which countries get the limited spots to compete at the Olympic Games.
Players are judged based on their previous international records.
Lesotho has never won an Olympic medal since it began participating at the games in 1972.
“The competition is very tight given that there are only four spots available, of which the whole world is competing for and we are just hoping that we will at least get one spot,” ’Mefane said.
’Mefane however said training coaches was part of his association’s attempts to ensure that the country is well represented at the 2016 Olympic Games.