Young Saudis join Taekwondo camps


RIYADH — More than 500 Saudi male and female taekwondo players from various schools and clubs across Riyadh participated in the first recently-held training session in Riyadh.

The young players participated, in order to qualify for the World Junior Championship following screening and selection process to pick the elite among them to participate in the Seoul Championship in Korea, to be held in close cooperation with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

On this occasion, Kim Jong Young, Korean international coach and organizer of the event said that it was customary to test taekwondo players from different regions of Saudi Arabia according to the laws of the Korean International Federation in various belts and ranks in the sport of taekwondo, especially since taekwondo is a Korean game that enjoys great popularity in the capital Riyadh in schools and clubs.

He said: “It was exclusively for male contestants, but now it is practiced by both sexes intensively, especially by children of all ages.” He added that they are currently preparing to qualify a team of children from Saudi Arabia to participate internationally.

For his part, Saudi Taekwondo coach Abdullah Al Assouj said that this training camp is established to support and encourage young students as they try to reach their goals and develop their skills in a hope to represent the Kingdom in all international championships and forums.

The director of the Steps of Champions Club, Hanin Kurdi, said: “Taekwondo is a traditional martial art of Korea and is an important tool. So, through these tryouts we seek to promote the Taekwondo sport among children and also to spread the self-defense sports more effectively than before.”

She added that the situation has changed now and the girls ’turnout is more than boys and we intend and hope and that the number of young trainees reach about 1,000 this year in various martial sports. — SG