November 14, 2015 by Soo Ee
A few days back, a student asked if I could help her with a report she was doing, filling up a questionnaire about the Taekwondo scene in Singapore. I obliged. In answering those questions I realised many things that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of on my own.
‘How long have you been in the Taekwondo Federation and what were some of your proudest achievements?’ I couldn’t remember offhand how many years so I sat down and made a calculation. The results surprised me a little. 27 freaking years of my life! I don’t remember it was that long ago when I was just a noob learning to tie my belt. How time flies!
My first and foremost achievement would be the growing group of leaders in my team. These kids are awesome and capable. I have no doubt they would make something awesome out of themselves in the future. Responsible, committed, resourceful and always ready to step up their game, I sometimes forget that they are only 15-16 yos, the youngest was 14. I am very proud of them and I am not afraid to show them off to the world. Among them are Javier and Marcus, my left and right hand. Javier is 21 and Marcus 20. Planning, organizing and executing, there is nothing I have not let these two experience and every time they do what they do, they up their game one notch at a time.
Next achievement was not so much that I represented Singapore in overseas competitions for 7 years, hoping for a shot at a bigger game than the local competitions, but the fact that I spent 7+ years committed to a goal. Not that I wasn’t proud of representing my country. I was very proud of the chance to don the national colours but even prouder of the fact that given my well documented hyperactivity and short attention span, I somehow managed to keep my focus on that commitment, 6 days a week, for 7 years. Although in the end, I didn’t go to the Olympic Games and then switched to MMA like what my one true idol Ronda Rousey did, the entire episode was in itself a huge accomplishment.
‘How, in your opinion, do you feel that we can make the Taekwondo industry more lucrative in Singapore?’ This question made me wonder hard. In truth, that was a question I have never really thought much of. I have friends who had gone on to start their own dojo or establish for themselves the top management roles in dojos, but for me, I kept my day job and continued coaching Taekwondo as a hobby.
Occasionally, I get friends asking me why do I spend so much of my time teaching/coaching Taekwondo when there were so many more lucrative sports I could coach since I own a Bsc. of Science in Exercise and Sports Science, had years of experience as an educator and a coach and was a competitive athlete once upon a time. They were curious too why haven’t I considered switching to another sport which paid more?
I had no idea why.
Maybe I didn’t want to make my hobby lucrative and destroy the joy of sharing. Maybe besides coaching and teaching I enjoy grooming young individuals to be leaders in their own right. Or maybe *GASPS! I just didn’t know how to make it lucrative.
Whatever it was, status quo sounds and looks good to me for now.
Until my attention span starts shifting again.
Epilogue: ‘TKD’ was my original title until a friend pointed out it sounded boring. Hence the current one.