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Pupils take a stab at Tae Kwondo as talent development

Parents in Meru County have embraced the education reforms, where talent development is one of the key aspects learners should acquire in the process of their learning.
Although some parents seem uneasy with the two-month school holidays, a section of them have opted to use the long recess to equip their children with sporting skills.
This, according to them is to bar their children from engaging in bad companies and behaviour, and in so doing not lose track in their academic endeavors.
Ms. Lucy Kanario says she enrolled her two children, Venessa Karimi and Alvin Mbogo (both in primary school), for Tae Kwondo sessions and it has greatly boosted their discipline and concentration both at home and in school.
“I regret not participating in any sport while in school. My children have great talent in various sports especially Tae Kwondo which I envy,” said Kanario.
She says the two months holiday has been well spent by her children, owing to the participation in the Tae Kwondo Training, thanks to some club within Meru Town that is offering the training.
She appeals to fellow parents to embrace the value of sports in the children’s growth, noting that the long vacation would not so much be good if parents force their children to get glued to academics like it used to happen before.
“My children had about three hours to attend to the practice under the guidance of their coach which is physically and psychologically rewarding,” she attests.
Before the ban on holiday tuition, most parents enrolled their children for extra classes at a fee but which according to educational experts it was more detrimental to learners.
Kanario believes children who had time to engage in physical activities such as sports will have a fresher mind as they transit to next classes.
She urges other parents to embrace such moves by letting their children pursue their talents during holiday, since most parents are busy at work leaving their children vulnerable to bad company and behaviour such as drug abuse.
Her daughter Karimi who is getting to class Eight in 2019 at Consolata Primary School Gitoro in Meru County expresses her joy for joining the sport.
She wishes to represent Kenya in five years to come after perfecting her skills.
She describes Tae Kwondo as a sport that can earn one trips to far flung places and assist in self-defense in case of an attack.
Being the only girl at the programme she calls on fellow girls to consider joining the sport arguing that it is not a preserve of men or the boy child.
Their coach, Alex Naibei says within the two-month holiday under  Epuka Noma Tae Kwondo Programme he has trained about thirty children aged six years and above on respecting their parents, improving physical fitness and self-defense.
Naibei says children are quick at learning the tricks of the game at an early age and with adequate training they can explore the best out of them.
“We have been having training sessions three days a week since schools were closed in late October.
Feedback from parents of the children who got a chance to train attest that the sport has boosted their children’s discipline and concentration owing to the demands of the game,” explains Naibei, an officer at the Meru G.K Prison who is also an international Tae Kwondo player having represented the nation in Rwanda among other international tourneys.
He dismisses claims that the sport makes participants rough and troublesome arguing that Tae Kwondo is one of the most disciplined games where the rules are very stringent.
He is proud of his efforts since two of his trainees have featured at the national and international front which is a rare occurrence.
Naibei however appeals to both the national and county governments to consider building the game through recognition and sponsorship, citing the high cost of kits as one of the biggest challenges affecting the sport.
“Last November we took five of our junior members in Nairobi and three other selected to participate in the Guerilla Tae Kwondo Championship in Rwanda between December 22 and 23 but could not make it due to lack of sponsorship,” he regrets.
Collins Munene a candidate who sat his KCSE examinations at Meru School in 2018 has participated in two international championships, one in South Korea where he emerged a silver medalist and another in Canada.
Munene maintains that his passion and expertise in the sport will see him represent the country in the 2020 Olympics scheduled for Tokyo Japan.
“I am happy since unlike my colleagues in school and my seniors, I have boarded a flight and toured Korea and Canada because of my talent,” he reiterates.
He says the sport is easier to get sponsors because unlike team sports, the game is individual effort hence easier to meet requirements.
By Richard Muhambe

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