By Jeremy Mogi – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
As final selections for PNG’s Taekwondo team loom with ‘D-day’ being Saturday December 13, 2014, two outstanding prospects in young Francillia Kokin and Brandon Name are hoping to make the cut to move on up in the code.
Francillia Kokin and Brandon Name, travelled to Port Moresby from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the Western Highlands respectively, to join what is now considered as the ‘elite team’ for Papua New Guinea.
The Bougainvillean lass was selected after her highly impressive performance at the Bougainville games, and again at the recent PNG games in Lae.
Being exposed to highly intensive training methods and technique has improved her ability and focus; boosting her confidence as well.
When asked how she was finding her experience so far, she was all smiles in reply, “inspiring to say the least”.
Joining her fellow fighters, she has found in them, a bond of friendships, that she feels will extend beyond the games.
Brendon Nema, the other young fighter at only 19 years of age. From a league-mad province of the Western highlands, he says switching from rugby league to taekwondo wasn’t easy but he’s relished the challenge and the discipline it has brought.
Having taken time off school to fight has been a big risk as well; having just completed grade 12, furthering his education at present, is uncertain.
For both Francillia and Brendon representing the country is both an honor and a privilege, and one they haven’t taken lightly.
Both are excited but realize that the road to the Pacific Games is long and hard and the journey has only just begun.