Having been implemented in April 2016, the Azraq refugee camp taekwondo academy is one of THF’s oldest ongoing projects. The camp is located 90 kilometres from the Jordanian-Syrian border and currently hosts more than 32’000 refugees, victim of the Syrian civil war.
The academy, run in conjunction with the World Taekwondo Cares Programme (WTCP), has been a source of hope for young Syrian refugees ever since its establishment, more than one year and 6 months ago. There are currently 60 male and 15 female students learning Taekwondo with training sessions being on offer three times a week.
One local Jordanian coach and one international coach are employed at the academy and not only teach taekwondo but also hold meditation sessions, Taekwondo demonstrations, promotion tests, competitions and endurance races. All these different activities help the camp’s residents deal with the traumatic events which have impacted their lives.
Wael is one of the students at the academy who has shown the most promise. He was part of the very first class of taekwondo organized in April 2016 and has continued to attend as many classes as possible since then. He now says that taekwondo is fully part of his life and trains daily with hope to pass the black belt one day. Such students form an important part of the academy’s plans as they have the potential to become taekwondo coaches themselves in the near future. This demonstrates THF’s ability to help individuals evolve from grass root to elite level and contributes to the sustainability of THF’s projects.
At the Azraq academy, students are provided with Taekwondo equipment such as Doboks, Taekwondo belts, kicking targets and even certificates of achievement which provides students with sense of accomplishment and allows them to follow their progress. At the moment, training sessions are held in a gym onsite but plans are currently underway to build a new facility, just for Taekwondo, which will allow the academy to accommodate more students.