'India have potential'

'India have potential'

Cohesive effort may bring change in attitude: Choi

LESSONS FOR GLORY: International taekwondo referee Choi Se Min (centre) giving lessons to coaches in Bangalore. DH PHOTO

“Taekwondo has been a part of me for 30 years,” said the 36-year-old, speaking through a translator. “There certainly is potential in India, but there has to be a more active approach from the federation and the government to spread knowledge of the game.”

Choi, in the City to train India’s taekwondo coaches on the ancient art as a part of the Olympic solidarity programme, put 49 coaches from different parts of the country through a crash course on basics. He also gave them lessons on the more evolved techniques of taekwondo that haven’t been taught before in India.

Over the past three days, coaches have been versed with posture, body strengthening and focus. Friday’s programme involved getting them to practice counter-kicking and other defensive techniques.

“We have made good progress in the past couple of sessions. The coaches being teachers themselves, they understand the hardship of the profession and are very eager to learn. They are not in great physical shape, but I am sure they will be by the end of the ten-day course,” said a gleaming Choi.

Promoted by the International Olympic Council and the Indian Olympic Association, the programme will run till August 12. The Taekwondo Federation of India has taken up this cause to help the sport achieve the status it holds in several south east Asian countries and even America in the recent past.

“Taekwondo does not have too many opportunities in India. The little infrastructure we can provide does not help the students. This programme will instill a sense of faith in the coaches. It will also help us derive new techniques which will help the future of the sport in the country,” said PA Gurung, the technical committee chairman of the TFI.