Students of Paljor Namgyal Girls’ School, Gangtok posing with their medals at the 3rd Kukkiwon Cup International Taekwondo Competition in New Delhi Credit: File image

Gangtok: Paljor Namgyal Girls’ (PNG) School, Gangtok bagged 25 medals and the ‘Best Disciplined Team’ title at the 3rd Kukkiwon Cup International Taekwondo Championship held in New Delhi at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, earlier this month.

Escorted by two teachers, the 25-member squad from Class III to XII participated in the various categories of the competition organised by Indian Dojang Sports Organisation (IDSO). Among them, the youngest competitor was Angelina Lepcha of Class III, who achieved a silver medal. Nooraum Lepcha of Class IV and Tenzing Choden Bhutia of Class VI were the other young achievers, securing a bronze and gold medal, respectively, at the tournament.

More than 19 states from India, besides teams from countries like Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan, participated in the third edition of the international championship.

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“The weather was not so favourable for the children. But potentially and technically well equipped, our girls were able to leave a permanent mark in the competition,” said a member of the school faculty.

In keenly-contested fights, the school team won nine golds, eight silver and eight bronze medals in all.

PNG had included taekwondo in their curriculum this year as a self-defence course for the girls to stay independent and equipped when it comes to their safety.

According to coach Sabina Sundas, the girls gave their best performance despite the weather issue. She said she was proud to see them bring medals and laurels to the school and the state. Sundas further thanked the school principal for tremendous support, from the availability of kits to sponsoring the trip.

“I have been playing taekwondo since 1999 and I have never experienced so much support from any institution. I have sponsored all my trips myself despite representing my state in prestigious national tournaments. Even Sikkim Amatuer Taekwondo Association (SATA) lacks in providing the facilities to the players but PNG is setting an example here,” shared Sundas.

Likewise, the students also expressed their happiness in getting to participate in the tournament. They shared it to be a good learning experience fir them.

PNG taekwondo players striking a pose with their medals alongside their coach and school principal

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