Double triumph for Jamaican Taekwondo coach

10/06/2017 – Akino Lindsay, 21, coaches taekwondo to young people in Fight for Peace’s target communities in Kingston, Jamaica and is a member of the Jamaican national team for combined martial arts to boot. His prowess in taekwondo was underlined at the end of May as he won a gold medal in the International Sport Kickboxing Association (ISKA) Amateur Members Association World Championships in Athens, Greece.

Already with a gold medal under his belt from the previous World Championships held in Portugal, Akino had to push himself to the limits to beat opponents from France, Germany and the Ukraine on his way to a becoming a double world champion this year. “This one was very, very difficult, with three tough fights against decent opponents”, said Akino. “The judging was tough too, which meant I had to really dig deep and get the job done.”

The championship win was a showcase of Akino’s skill, dedication and determination, the very qualities that make him such an important member of the Fight for Peace coaching staff and which lead him to be selected to participate in the Michael Johnson Young Leaders scholarship programme of 2017.

The Young Leaders programme, which began in 2016, is the result of a collaboration between international NGO Coaches Across Continents and the Michael Johnson Foundation. Every year, the scheme offers the chance for a number of carefully selected young people, identified as potential leaders in their respective communities, to receive in depth training, education and advice to allow them to better deliver sport for development programmes in their own localities. 

After a rigorous application process, Akino has been invited to a week long intensive sport for development course at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Dallas, Texas, where he will develop a twelve month plan for action for his communities. In addition, along with all of the other young leaders on the programme, Akino will receive twelve months worth of financial support from the Foundation to be able to implement initiatives, and advisory support for as long as necessary into the future.

Akino’s selection to the programme is a notable achievement, and when he returns to Jamaica after the course, he will be working with Fight for Peace and the Young Leaders programme to expand taekwondo activities across the six communities in Kingston in which Fight for Peace works.