By Pascalinah Kabi
MASERU — Internationally-acclaimed South Korean Taekwondo coach Park-Se Hong is in Lesotho.
Hong has come to help improve taekwondo standards in the country by training coaches from all over the country through the national technical training programme.
The programme started on September 28 and is scheduled to end on Tuesday. Training is being held at Sefika High School in Maseru.
Hong’s presence in the country is part of the Lesotho Taekwondo Association (LTA) activities to prepare for the All Africa Games and London Olympic Games in 2012.
LTA general secretary Moshoeshoe Mokake told the Lesotho Times this week that Hong is expected to use his skills and international experience to help develop taekwondo in the country.
“This is the first technical training in the history of Lesotho taekwondo,” Mokake said.
“Hong’s experience will help to improve taekwondo drastically as we prepare for the All Africa Games and Olympic Games in 2012.”
He said the association decided to bring Hong into the country after realising that there was a lack of taekwondo coaches.
“We realised that there was a lack of coaches in the country hence the need to bring a South Korean to do the job,” he said.
He said that taekwondo standards drastically declined in the country after South Koreans stopped training Basotho at the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) structures.
“Lesotho used to perform very well because LDF players were then trained by South Koreans,” he said.
“The trained LDF players would go to the districts to train local coaches.”
LTA is also understudying Hong to see if he can be a suitable candidate for the position of national coach.
Hong’s name is before the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation as LTA has asked the ministry to hire him as senior national coach.
“Hong’s presence is also an opportunity for us to understudy him as we’ve asked the ministry to employ him for us,” Mokake said.
The current technical training initiative is supported by Lesotho National Olympic Committee and Lesotho Sports and Recreational Commission.