Nurturing future champions

Two young exponents during a sparring session.

JAGOH Taekwondo Academy, helmed by R. Selvamuthu, a taekwondo silver medallist at the Seoul Asian Games in 1986, is committed to grooming notable young talents.

“We have about 300 exponents attending weekly training sessions. The first priority is to get the youngsters interested in taekwondo as an activity,” said Selvamuthu.

“Some parents want their children to learn taekwondo for self-defence while others encourage their children to take up the sport for competition.

“We have to cater according to their needs. Currently, we have about 70 seniors being groomed for competitions,’’ he added.

The academy, formed in 2010, conducts its training and development programme in Kajang Perdana.

Selvamuthu said the academy had a group of experienced instructors to see to the needs of the youngsters. The focus is on poomsee (forms) and sparring, as well as aerobics (a combination of dance and taekwondo).

Selvamuthu said trainees were encouraged to take part in local and international championships.

Coach A. Thilagavathi (left) chatting with the trainees who won the overall crown in India.
Coach A. Thilagavathi (left) chatting with the trainees who won the overall crown in India.

“We make it a point to expose the trainees to at least two local competitions a month. It is also compulsory for them to participate in the three leg national circuit, National Junior championships and National Inter-Club championships.

“Our priority is to provide a platform for them to gain exposure,” he explained.

“They must also be given the opportunity to gauge their progress. These competitions will also give the instructors a chance to evaluate their trainees.

“Based on the evaluation, the instructors can draw up training programmes,’’ added Selvamuthu.

Last month, a group from the academy took part in the South Asian International Invitational Taekwondo championship in Madurai, India.

The Malaysian team took home 16 gold, two silver and two bronze medals, and Jagoh Taekwondo Academy emerged the overall champions.

The gold medals came from N. Thaswin. N. Vikneswaran, Alif Budriz Azfaruddin, M. Danesh Kumar, Khaizuran Muhd Aniq, Danial Kamarul, Miza Nur Syauqina Kamarul, Aleyna Adriana Mohd Halim, S.Vissha, R. Eshan Jay, M. Pravina, Masha Nur Syahmina Kamarul, Reeyah Elmirra Shameer and N. Sri Vidya.

Young talents R. Nemisha Jay and Alif Budriz Azfaruddiun won silver while N. Suren Raj and Miza Nur Syauqina Kamarul finished with bronze.

Noting that every member of the contingent returned with a medal, Selavamuthu said it was an encouraging outing.

“All the members showed excellent commitment and determination. It was also a learning mission for them as they had the chance to watch exponents from other countries.

“We are confident our exponents learnt a lot during the trip,’’ he said.

The academy’s participation in India was made possible through contributions from parents and well-wishers.

“The parents are not rich but were willing to support the trip. They are keen to see their children excel in taekwondo.

“Jagoh Taekwondo Academy will work closely with the parents to help their children realise their dreams,’’ promised Selvamuthu.

In the last Malaysia Games in Kuching, the academy’s G.N. Balakumaran, representing Kedah, won the gold medal in the men’s featherweight category.

Balakumaran is currently in the national squad and is expected to represent Malaysia in the upcoming SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Selvamuthu said they had identified about 10 exponents for the 2018 Malaysia Games in Perak.

“We hope to see them in action and eventually gain a place in the national training squads.

“Our vision and aim is to develop taekwondo exponents. Based on our trainees progress’ and results, we are on the right track to accomplish our mission,’’ added Selvamuthu.

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