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Chicopee Mayer Encourages Tae Kwon Do as an Educational Sport
Bostonkorea  2010-11-17, 16:39:37   
HyunCheon Kim
Translated by SoYeon Lee

 “Michelle Obama showing interest, plans to attenda Tae Kwon Do graduation event”

Korea’s one of the representative sports, Tae Kwon Do, is becoming an educational sport among many Americans in Bostonneighborhoods including Chicopee, Spring Field and Wilbraham.

Last Tuesday, a Tae Kwon Do Education Foundation (Instructor Kyung Won Kim) located in Wilbraham, extended an invitation to parents to watch the visiting Korean instructors demonstration. Before the match, Michael Bissonnette, Mayor of Chicopee, gave a speech about the initiation of the Tae Kwon Do school and the importance behind educating the public about Tae Kwon Do.

The group of eleven Korean college students,who majored in Tae Kwon Do,is touring the United States as part of an internship course to better understand the place of Tae Kwon Do in American culture. On Tuesday, they performed high leveled Tae Kwon Do techniques, which were followed by loud applause from the spectator parents. Mayor Bissonnettealso awarded them with the Letter of Appreciation. 

Mayor Bissonnette said he hopes the sport to transmit throughout enough school districts and states to become a national phenomenon; and announcedhe plans to continue to put Tae Kwon Do as a regular course in public schools of Chicopee.

Bissonnette mentioned that attending two Tae Kwon Do graduations had huge impact on him and that he wishes “Korea’s representative sport to spread its influence all over the American public schools which will help spread Korean as well.”He also said “Deval Patrick was engaged early on and supports this program. Every time I see Governor Patrick, he always asks me about how the program is doing.”

He pointed out the importance of mental training that the teaching of Tae Kwon Do imposes. “(students need to learn) morals, integrity, and other basic disciplines”said Mayor. “A lot of parents embraced the program because it teaches all of those.”

Furthermore, Mayor emphasized the importance of developing children’s characters early on since kids’characters are formed by 3rd grade. He shared his plan to continue to put Tae Kwon Do to the Chicopee public school system to teach kids disciplines and open doors for them to encounter new culture.

He also talked about his plan to invite Mrs. Obama who is busy with her “Let’s Move” project - organized for the educational purpose - to pay a visit to the institution to participatein the Tae Kwon Do graduation. He advised theWilbraham students to learn well from the internsinstructors for the upcoming event.

He did not forget to thank all the intern instructors for their work and asked them to take his words back to Korea so they can keep the program going and make changes for the children in the future.

Following the speech, the students and the parents asked the Mayor a few questions. They wanted the Mayor to share his view on the public education system and Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” project.

Mayor Binnossette answered that public education is a system that gives back taxes that are collected from individuals. The public education is provided equally and the reason he supports public education system is because “Chicopee public education can help discover many talented peoples and they can go out in the world to help others.” He told the parents that they have responsibilities to enforce education onto their children.

Meanwhile, a Chief Secretary, Heather Canady who has attended the event with the Mayor talked about Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program. According to Mrs. Canady, Mrs. Obama found this program to find a good physical education and the program will become a progressive program. She also mentioned that physical education is as important as any other education which will help children to strengthentheir mentality.   
After the event, Mayor Bissonnette posed for a picture with Tae Kwon Do students shouting “I love Tae Kwon Do”.
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