A four-member team from the World Taekwondo Peace Corps from the Republic of South Korea has arrived in Ghana for a 46-day tour of the country upon the request of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation (GTF).
The taekwondo practitioners – Kong Sung Jo, Kim Fun Yeong and Kusak Yan Kyung, all university students majoring in taekwondo and Jeong Ji Yong, an interpreter arrived in the country on Monday and are scheduled to travel to six regions of the country where the sport is yet to be established.
The team, led by the Secretary General of the GTF, Charles Amofa, begun the tour yesterday, taking them first to the Upper East region where they will introduce the sport to a number of school children taking part in a regional sports festival.
From the Upper East region, the team will visit the Upper West, Northern, Central, Eastern and the Greater Accra region where they would be working with the regional sports managers and educational institutions.
The aim of this, according to the President of the federation, Frederick Lartey Otu, was to compliment the effort of the GTF in giving taekwondo a national dimension.
“Some of the regions apart from Eastern and Accra have seen appreciable level of development of the sport but there are areas that have nothing to show for. For these regions, the Peace Corps would work with the regional sports executives to start with some selected schools.”
“We expect that the exercise would form the basis for the establishment of taekwondo clubs in their respective communities and build upon it with the hope that they will unearth talents to compete in future national championships,” Mr. Otu said.
Ahead of the group’s departure, they paid courtesy calls on some of the nation’s big wigs as far as sports was concerned, notably the Minister of Youth and Sports and his Deputy, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye and Vincent Oppong Asamoah respectively.
They were also hosted by the top brass of the National Sports Authority (NSA) including Joe Kpenge – Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Mensah – Director of Sports and Saka Acquaye, Deputy Director, Technical.
At the Ministry, Nii Lantey welcomed the taekwondo practitioners for their willingness to come to Ghana to help in the bid to develop and promote taekwondo and commended the GTF for their foresight.
According to the sector minister, the move by the GTF falls in line with the ministry’s vision of organising a training of trainers exercise geared at producing 100,000 technically endowed personnel to be spread across the country.
Participants in this training would be presented with intermediary certificates as the ministry seeks to create a vast pool of human resource in a bid to give the least financed sports disciplines a lift.
By Andrew Nortey