Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], September 10 (ANI): Taekwondo seems to be picking up among youngsters in Jammu and Kashmir with close to 10 of them now holding the certified black belt in the martial art in Poonch district of the union territory.
Training in Taekwondo Martial Arts have been in vogue in Poonch for the last four years and what started initially as four students, today the district has around 250 students training for the martial art will many even representing the district at national or international level competitions, according to Rajinder Singh, a physical education teacher at the Department of Youth Residence and Taekwondo.
In Taekwondo, one can become a black belt holder only after qualifying for a test that is conducted at the international level in South Korea. After clearing the test, South Korea reward the student with a certificate, Singh said.
Speaking to ANI, Rajinder Singh said, "Students here are doing so well that around 13-14 students have represented the district at the national level and four students have represented the nation at the international level. In addition, some youngsters have also performed very well in the virtual championships, in which around 26-27 countries participate."
Keeping in view the achievements of his students, the coach said he felt very optimistic about the future and was confident that they will represent the district at the international level. He said, "I am sure our students will participate in Asian Games also and will represent the nation."
"Taekwondo has emerged as the first choice of youth in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district with a majority of girls taking up the Korean martial art where they are being taught self-defence. We have the maximum number of female players as compared to other academies of Jammu and Kashmir," said Singh.
A female player said, "I have been practising this game here for the last one to two years. I am a state gold medalist and inter-district gold medalist Taekwondo player. Around 70-80 girls are here in the academy learning this game as it is very important for girls to learn self-defence."
"Due to COVID-19 pandemic, we could not participate in national games, but, now we are again preparing for it to represent our nation and win gold medals. We also want to participate in Olympics," she added.
Another male student, a blackbelt holder said, "I have been learning for the last four years and have become a black belt holder. With the combined efforts of our coach and myself, I have won six gold medals at the national level and one at the international level. It is a big achievement for me to represent Poonch district and beat other academies of Jammu and Kashmir." (ANI)