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Taekwondo Journey – Part 2

June 29, 2011

RTF players in Mombasa

After a flight and fourteen hour train ride across the Tsavo Game Reserve I arrived in Mombasa, Kenya one day ahead of my three players.  They endured a thirty hour bus ride in preparation for their first international competition.  Upon arriving we set up in our hotel and then investigated Mombasa, a former trading capital forEastAfrica.  The three players had never ventured far from Rwanda and this turned out to be quite the field trip.

As for the tournament it began a day and a half late and was held in a meeting hall on wooden floors instead of the usual one inch thick mat.  Beyond the poor organization and below standard conditions, Team Rwanda gave a great showing winning several matches in spite of injuries from falls on the hard floor.  They walked away with a team trophy of best overall Taekwondo and were thrilled to have something to show for their efforts.  Before returning back to Rwanda we were able to go sightseeing accompanied by the team from Uganda with the highlights being the Indian Ocean and Fort Jesus.

Site seeing in Mombasa

The team returned by bus to Rwanda and I boarded a train for Nairobi as I began my journey to Korea and the World Taekwondo Championships.  As I reflected on my trip while riding the train across Eastern Kenya I realized that our journey to Mombasa was important for two reasons.  First, it gave our players and myself some much needed tournament experience and put the rest of East Africa on notice that we had begun.  Secondly, it allowed us to begin relationships with the other teams and coaches with hopes of extending influence beyond the borders of Rwanda and into the rest of East Africa.  I became aware of this effect from the influx of facebook friend requests after the tournament and then after returning from Korea I had a three hour mentoring session with one of the national team players for Kenya where we talked mostly about following Jesus.  It delights me how Jesus permeates our lives to such a degree that participation in something like Taekwondo cannot escape his wonderful transforming influence.

Rwanda brings home a trophy

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Marilyn McDermett permalink
    June 29, 2011 2:32 pm

    This is so exciting, Marty. I hope and pray these influences will continue to grow to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. Daniel Dziwe from kenya permalink
    July 31, 2013 1:43 pm

    Thanks coach Martin 4 your hospitality and a wish all tae kwon do players of Rwanda the best.

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