Tuesday, 23 July, 2024

STF holds successful inaugural para taekwondo competition

The Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) held the inaugural STF Para Taekwondo Poomsae Championship on the 20 April 2024, Saturday, with Sister Linda Sim gracing the event as the guest-of honour. She is Vice-Chair World Taekwondo (WT) Taekwondo for All Committee. Sister Linda is also part of the Member Relations and Development Commission.

Although it was the first competition for many contestants, and nervousness was the initial overriding emotion of the day, competitors were encouraged by cheers of family and friends to battle through nerves and complete their designated pa􀆩erns for a panel of five judges.

Elation then took over as medals were presented during the ceremony.

“It’s great that there’s opportunities for persons with disabilities (PWDs) to explore and expose themselves to sports. We think it’s wonderful that STF is creating awareness and possibilities for PWDs,” Mr Marius Madsen, one of the competitors, said.

Mr Madsen was an able-bodied taekwondo athlete before a near-fatal accident. Though he is now paralysed from the waist down, his love for the sport meant that he’s returned as a para-athlete. He competes under P50, which allows the use of assistive technology such as wheelchairs.

“It’s also an opportunity for children with disabilities to engage with people outside and enjoy sports. On top of taekwondo, Whyra also engages in running,” Ms Norhayati Binte Zabah said.

Her son, Whyra Juaanda Bin Anjas Asmara, is hearing impaired and competes under P60.

Other categories represented include:
• P10 – Visual impairment
• P20 – Intellectual impairment
• P40 – Physical impairment

Para Taekwondo is an adaptation of taekwondo for athletes with an impairment, with WT as the sport’s governing body. For instance, adapted rules and regulations include judging para-athletes on stance and practicability of movement and balance, rather than on accuracy of individual movements.

It’s a recognised Paralympic sport, having been included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics roster. Para Taekwondo will be returning for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

Chaired by Mr Michael Ho, the competition was planned and hosted by the STF Para-taekwondo Subcommittee, following a successful trial in 2023. The effort is part of STF’s push to introduce the sport to PWDs and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Medallists at the event are as follows:

P10: Visual impairment – Colour belt, Age 4-14
• Gold – Bryan Lim (Lighthouse School)

P20: Intellectual impairment – Colour belt, Age 4-14
• Gold – Javier Koh (Bravery Taekwondo)

P20: Intellectual impairment – Poom belt, Age 4-14

• Gold – Ler Xin Yi Ann Schenley (K-Masters Taekwondo)
• Silver – Muhammad Amin Bin Ardi (K-Masters Taekwondo

P40: Physical impairment – Colour belt, Age 18 and older
• Gold – Tan Yee Shan Isabelle (Ngee Ann Polytechnic)

P50: Poomsae using assistive devices
• Gold – Marius Madsen (Global Taekwondo)

P60: Hearing impairment
• Gold – Whyra Juaanda Bin Anjas Asmara (Lighthouse School)
• Silver – Nur Kaiyishah Binte Mahathir (Lighthouse School)

The STF Para-Taekwondo Sub-committee led by Chairman Mr Michael Ho would also like to say a “Big Thank You” to all the officials, volunteers and sponsors who have contributed generously to make this event possible.

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