Students from schools in Mongar and Trashigang, who participated in the summer taekwondo coaching camp, were awarded certificates yesterday.

The coaching camp was held at Mongar Lower Secondary School.

One of the youngest participants, Ngawang Kelzang Jamtsho, is a class one student of Mongar Lower Secondary School. He is six years old.

He said that although he was satisfied to have spent his summer break learning taekwondo, he is sad that he couldn’t qualify for the yellow belt. “But I will keep trying.”

Another participant, Deki Choden, 13, said she qualified for the red belt from blue belt during the camp.

A first dan, Tobden, 16, is a class 10 student of Mongar Higher Secondary School. He said he learnt about respect and discipline during the coaching camp.

Tobden said he wants to become a taekwondo master and that he wouldn’t regret even if he doesn’t qualify for higher studies.

The dzongkhag’s chief education officer, who is the vice president of the dzongkhag’s taekwondo division, Wangchuk, encouraged the participants to keep practising the art for mental and physical development.

He told students that engaging in sports would help them stay away from drugs. “Taekwondo is for self-defence and not to get into the fight.”

Mongar taekwondo master, Tshewang Chimmi, said, that many students have been inspired by the sport. “Lots of students came up to me to say that they want to take up the sport from next year.”

He said that they intend to win the national championship this year. “But we don’t have a taekwondo hall and it is difficult to conduct practices and training.” During the coaching camp, they also conducted the promotion test.

Chimi Tshewang said that of the 67 participants, 32 got through the test.

The annual camp is organised with financial support from Bhutan Olympic Committee (BoC) and Bhutan Taekwondo Federation.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar