Innocent Kurira, sports journalist
COMBAT sport has gained a bad reputation over the years, as people believe it encourages violence, especially among children.
Mixed martial arts, which use a brutal blend of boxing, wrestling, judo and karate, rugby and boxing are still among the most popular sports, the status of which is a chilling indication of the blossoming of violence in booming sports to unknown levels.
Although the flood of violent games has no obvious social benefits, Vusumuzi Ncube, founding president of the Panthers Taekwondo Club, believes it is a misconception that these sports are “violent” and that it has affected the growth of the sport. in the country.
He said most people misinterpret taekwondo as a violent or aggressive practice, but he has rules that instill discipline if properly observed.
Taekwondo, he said, improves social skills and teamwork, and also tackles the growing scourge of bullying and other aggressive behaviors by improving students’ abilities to resolve conflict. peaceful way.
“Taekwondo is a sport that is not yet popular, but has been around for some time. If you talk to someone about taekwondo, they think about heavy fighting, which is wrong, ”Ncube said.
“What we’re actually teaching is confidence, fitness and general well-being. Some even join taekwondo to lose weight, while for others it’s just fun.
Ncube believes that taekwondo does not attract much attention from the authorities, which hinders the growth of the sport.
“In terms of growth, I think we are not getting the support that other sports codes like football have. It is almost as if we do not exist. Our wish is for the Government to give us more money. pay attention and invest more in fighting like sport. When we organize tournaments, it is not easy to get sponsors because most companies think they will support violence, and this is a misconception that must be clarified, ”Ncube said.
“We say taekwondo teaches us discipline; it teaches life skills. For example, if a child starts taekwondo at the age of four, he will grow up with great self-esteem and discipline. They’ll know if their uniform is dirty and when it’s time to train. My 4th grade child can take classes because he knows how to warm up, train and warm up.
He says sport has also not been spared from the devastating effects of the covid-19 pandemic.
“After the confinement, a lot of people did not return to the sport. The Panthers Academy organized taekwondo in 16 schools around Bulawayo, but those numbers have dropped significantly. We hope to keep these numbers and others, but it will not be easy. We are already planning to set off by car that will take us to the suburbs where a lot of talent remains untapped, ”said Ncube.
He thanked the SRC for their help in the registration process for his academy.
It was not easy at the beginning, but the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation invited him to events and workshops, allowing him to reach as many people as possible. [email protected]