December 14, 2020
by Mary Joy Saludo
This month, sports associations continue to allow athletes to perform and compete in their online tournaments whether it is contact or non-contact sports despite the pandemic going on worldwide. It allows them to participate and train while following safety protocols to avoid the Coronavirus and encourages them to continue playing the sports they wish to represent. It is also because of these online tournaments that one of AISAT’s students, Ian Carlos Pascual, was able to compete and win a Gold medal in the recent 3rd Annual Hakuakai Philippines Championship E-Kata Tournament last November 28-29, 2020 for Karate Pilipinas.
Another online tournament for Taekwondo that was done recently was the PTA 2020 Smart/MVP Sports Foundation National Taekwondo Inter-School Speed Kicking Championships in continuation to other online speed kicking tournaments and championships previously held. The Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) is dedicated to providing athletes tools and platforms to assist them in continuing their sporting journey especially during this new normal according to the secretary-general of PTA named Coach Rocky Samson. It is important for athletes to continue to build experience through competing. In addition, this competition was organized by MILO Philippines, and the assistant vice president, Lester Castillo said they will look forward to seeing the participants exhibiting their sporting excellence and motivating them to continue their championship journey. Held on December 5 and 6 of 2020, the contest was divided into 2 days with 4 “courts” where the athletes will be arranged into.
Taekwondo is not only a martial art but it can also be a sport and a dance. Speed kicking in taekwondo is an activity in which the athletes must kick as fast as they can within the one-minute duration. They will be judged according to their technique, speed, and a total number of kicks. Participants can perform their speed kicks in the free-kick category or the kick pad category. Because of the pandemic, they can participate in their local gyms or the comfort of their homes (if spacious enough). For everyone to watch, the contest was live-streamed on www.streamtaekwondo.com, YouTube channel, and Facebook page. One of the winners is a junior high school student from Ateneo de Manila named Lucas Llarena. He is a bronze medalist in the competition.
We also have Eesha Ysabel Alegario Cunanan who is a gold medalist in the same speed kicking competition. Eesha is an 11-year-old from Malungon, Sarangani Province who has also previously won silver and bronze medals in the face-to-face competition held in Singapore. This year she also ended up winning bronze in the Virtual Worldwide Taekwondo Poomsae Tournament and Para-Poomsae Championship in the United Kingdom in the grade school black belt female category. Poomsae is the “dance” activity in Taekwondo.
In another international Poomsae competition, Jaione Audrey A. Cambronero from Precious International School of Davao wins gold and silver in two separate Lents Taekwondo Worldwide Sports Online Poomsae Open 2020 Editions held on November 21 and 22. Not only will these kinds of competitions help athletes further develop but this second Lents competition aimed to raise funds for female household violence victims in Nepal and also children in need in Cambodia. They will also give them free taekwondo training. Until the day everyone can perform sports without fear of COVID-19, these online competitions prove to further develop the athletes and help others as well.