Inside the scholarship scheme to grow Tong Il Moo Do in Kenya

MOMBASA, Kenya, December 20 – The Kenya Tong Il Moo Do Federation (KTMF) is on the lookout for potential partners to help provide scholarships for its athletes to study at local and international universities.

The federation’s president Clarence Mwakio said the scheme is part of a long term plan to build the capacity of numerous athletes and develop the sport in the country.

“At the federation, we have a plan that 20 per cent of any surplus of our funds goes towards scholarships. We want to ensure that all members of the sport who want to study further are able to get education within the system and upgrade other stakeholders of the sport as well as our young athletes,” Mwakio said.

He pointed out the importance of an enlightened body of athletes as a key cog in solidifying the gains Tong Il Moo Do has made thus far.

“The future of any serious organisation is based on how intelligent your team is and how visualised they are. We believe that education is one key aspect that can help them better visualise the future. That is something already at play and hopefully from next year we want to approach different companies and organisations as well as universities that may want to partner with us,” the president said.

Mwakio further revealed there are already a number of Tong Il Moo Do athletes who have graduated to instructors and are already imparting their wealth of knowledge and skills on the upcoming ones.

“We always nurture most of our athletes to be all-rounded so they can play different roles in competitions and serve the federation because this is a young federation. It is our duty as senior instructors to train those who would want to be instructors so they can help develop the sport further and making sure the events we are hosting are able to bring value to the society,” he explained.

Mwakio was speaking in the aftermath of another bountiful harvest for Kenya at the Mombasa Open Tong Il Moo Do International Championships, which ended on Tuesday night at the Aga Khan Multipurpose Hall.

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Team Jasiri topped the medal standings with 46 gold, 52 silver and 93 bronze, ahead of second placed Zambia who harvested 10 gold, five silver and eight bronze.

It was the 11th time out of the last 12 editions in which the home team have dominated the annual competition.

Reflecting on this year’s performance, Mwakio described it as evidence of the team’s growth in leaps and bounds.

“We gave it our all and once again, we managed to top the medal standings. If you look at the medal standings, you can see a massive improvement particularly with regards to the number of bronze we have won this year. Much gratitude goes to the Ministry of Sports through the Cabinet Secretary and his Permanent Secretary for the support they’ve given to us in preparing and hosting this tournament,” he said.

With the tournament done and dusted, attention turns to the global championships in the Philippines next year where Mwakio expects a tough challenge from the hosts.

Nonetheless, it is a challenge he is more than ready for.

“Our expectations for Philippines is that it is going to be very tough. As you know, we need to prepare very well and also field a good number of participants to go and compete with what is undoubtedly our biggest rivals at this stage of the competition. We want to field a very big team because it is going to be a tough contest in Manila,” he said.

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