President of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Mrs Elizabeth Binga has passionately called on the Korean Officials to aid Africa’s most populous Nation with a world class training centre which is expected to be cited in Abuja.
Binga who tabled the appeal while speaking at the closing ceremony which heralded the just concluded ninth (9th) edition of Korean Ambassador’s Championship (KAC) also requested the Koreans to assist in exposing Nigerian Taekwondo Athletes, Coaches and Referees on training tours annually.
Taekwondo is a combat sports, originated by Koreans as part of their cultural practice which was later introduced to other parts of the world. Nigeria joined taekwondo practice since over 30 years ago with no visible taekwondo facility in any part of the country.
Binga who only last year emerged as the first-ever female President of NTF added, “Korean Embassy with Korea Ambassadors Cup has come a long way as one of our oldest sponsors over the years. We are thankful to them and grateful. But they can still do more because I know what they in other African countries. It’s not enough to give us championship.
“Today in Nigeria, we don’t have a national training centre for taekwondo athletes. And this sports, was initiated by Koreans. If they can help us put a structure on ground so that anywhere you come from, you will see a place to train. And some coaches will be there to train you and you go back.”
At the end of this year’s championship ahead of Nigeria International Taekwondo Open slated for November, Team Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) retained the KAC which they had won back to back in the past.
NSCDC, adjudged as overall best team after the annual competition won seven medals, comprising of three gold, one and three bronze to topple Team Oyo with four medals – three gold and one silver. They were placed second.
A taekwondo club, Q-Madi of Lagos came third with four medals including two gold, one silver and one bronze.
No fewer than 150 Athletes, drawn from 50 teams stormed the Nation’s capital at the weekend and engaged each other in about 100 fights with South-west states scooping virtually all outstanding awards.
Ifeoluwa Ajayi, a Q-Madi clinical fighter was celebrated as the most valuable Athlete (MVP) while Olayinka Olawumi from Oyo was crowned as the best female Athlete.
Shamsudeen Useni of Ogun state emerged as best coach of the tournament just as Winifred Eleri was adjudged the best referee.
Model school Maitama, Q-Madi and Nasarawa became the first, second and third best respectively in the junior category.
NTF Technical Director and Olympic medalist, Chika Chukwumerije however expressed gratitude to all Stakeholders whose effort ensured successful hosting of the 2018 KAC.