First, by way of review, some of you will hopefully recall the first success of this fundraiser -- the purchase of new sparring and training equipment and locking storage unit. I invite you to enjoy (or enjoy again) this short movie I made where the warriors break in their new pads.
Well, on the weekend of December 18-19 of last year (2010), the TKD fundraiser scored another major victory. Using the money raised, we were able to send 12 boys to Nairobi, Kenya for the East Africa Tae Kwon Do Junior Championships.
Granted, Tae Kwon Do is a fairly niche sport in Africa, but bear in mind we're talking about an entire continental region here. For these twelve boys, this was not merely their first opportunity to compete in an official tournament, nor was it merely their first opportunity to compete with peers besides themselves. For most or all of them, this was their first time out of their home country. What an adventure!
Are you excited yet? Well hold on to something, because it gets better. We took home some medals. That's right. Three of our boys placed in their weight class -- two gold medals, and one bronze.
Did I mention these were the junior championships for all of East Africa?
Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to pay for passports, transport, lodging, meals, tournament fees and uniforms. Two CHISWEA volunteers (Thomas and Malene from Denmark) and took some photos, and though some of those photos were unfortunately lost to the technical gods, I am thankful to Thomas and Malene for salvaging what they could from their camera.
Congratulations to all of our generous donors for giving these deserving boys such a wonderful opportunity!
Shaking hands before the match ("I must break you.")
Always bow before kicking someone's ass.
Start with a low kick...
Then wind up for a "I break nose with big toe" kick.
The junior warriors get some guidance from their teacher.
Chillin' like villains between matches.
The kick I wish I could have seen in person.
Back home, Athumani shows off the bling.