The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday pledged to revamp the certification process for judo and taekwondo coaches after a seven-year-old boy in Taichung fell into a deep coma after his judo instructor allegedly threw him to the ground 27 times during training last week.
The ministry made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee about the Sports Administration’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.
However, most of the committee’s members focused on the plight of the seven-year-old boy, particularly after it was reported that the instructor did not hold a license, but has many times coached teams participating in national competitions.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) said that the ministry was negligent in enforcing its certification process for sports coaches.
“The government spends NT$25 million [US$894,454] per year on trainings and reviews of the qualifications of coaches. Where did the money go? Why do we still have so many unlicensed instructors coaching in combat sports?” Huang asked.
New Power Party Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) said that adults and children should be trained differently, asking why the government does not have coaching certificates with age-specific qualification standards.
Deputy Minister of Education Lin Teng-chiao (林騰蛟) said that the ministry would use this isolated incident to implement rules for handling similar cases, adding that the ministry would meet with representatives from local governments and sports associations to discuss the issue.
“We will study possible changes to the certification process and regulations that will assure parents of the qualifications of coaches hired by taekwondo and judo studios,” Lin said, adding that it aims to remove those who are not qualified.
Sports Administration Director-General Chang Shao-hsi (張少熙) said that the government would implement clearer regulations governing the management of taekwondo and judo studios, adding that the certificates of their coaches would need to be displayed.
Coaches for children under 12 years old would be required to undergo additional professional courses, he said.
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