Akon Baak to represent Australia at Entire world Taekwondo Cadet Championships

Akon Baak to represent Australia at Entire world Taekwondo Cadet Championships


Akon Baak’s athletic expertise is very clear when she kicks an individual in the head.

At 188cm tall, or 6-foot-two in the previous scale, the 13-12 months-old about to choose the biggest stage in her small taekwondo career — symbolizing Australia at the junior Cadet Earth Championships in Bulgaria afterwards this month.

“Not several people today get to stand for their country and that is a genuinely fascinating point and I am seriously very pleased to be capable to signify Australia,” Akon said.

“I also like basketball and athletics, but I come to feel like taekwondo is the sport for me due to the fact I can properly use my peak to my edge.”

Akon’s rise in the sport spans the world – from Sudan, to Scotland, Afghanistan, Iran and Adelaide.

Her story epitomises the universal character of activity and is an extraordinary tale of contemporary Australia.

A family of five stands together smiling at the camera. The children are wearing taekwondo uniforms
Taekwondo has turn out to be a relatives affair for the Baaks, with Akon’s more youthful sister and brother pursuing in her footsteps.(ABC News: Brant Cumming)

From South Sudan to Adelaide

Akon’s father, Kuol Baak, was taken from his relatives in his early teenagers and experienced to battle with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement military.

He fought as a boy soldier for the independence of South Sudan together with 1000’s of other so-referred to as ‘Lost Boys’.

Inevitably he walked to neighbouring Kenya as a 15-yr-previous seeking refuge from civil war in 1992.

“I was fortunate to be disarmed and manufactured to be a part of the refugees coming to Kenya,” Mr Baak mentioned.

He was one of thousands who formed the Kakuma Refugee Camp.

In 2003 he was granted a humanitarian visa and arrived to Adelaide.

Shortly soon after, he fulfilled and sooner or later married his spouse, Melanie.

“Australia is one of the best, if not the most effective state for any refugee in the earth.

“A location like Adelaide, if you can locate it, which is a piece of the environment that you really should use so refugees, will not give up hope.”

A girl with long brown hair bounds down an athletics track and jumps toward a long-jump sandpit
Akon Baak reported taekwondo was the sport for her, even though also excelling at many other sports activities which includes basketball and athletics.(Equipped: Melanie Baak)

From Adelaide to a Glasgow fitness center

Mr Baak stated taekwondo had come to be part of his family’s story.

That tale started many decades back in Scotland, when Akon and stumbled into a taekwondo class in Glasgow with her brother and sister.

A young girl with a big brown afro in a white taekwondo outfit smiles as she kicks for the camera
Akon Baak to start with tried out taekwondo in Scotland as an 8-year-old.(Equipped: Melanie Baak)

Akon’s mom, Melanie Baak, mentioned the sport grew to become a saving grace for her three children as she undertook a 4-month fellowship at the College of Glasgow.

“At Akon’s 1st class, her facial area just lit up,” Ms Baak explained.

“I’ve bought these stunning images of her right after her initially class with a white belt and new equipment on and I bear in mind the excitement that you could really feel from her.”

The loved ones did not be expecting the interest in the Korean martial artwork to proceed on return to Adelaide, but it did.

On return dwelling, they identified an academy operate by Mohammad Reza Hassani – an Afghan refugee, who learnt the Korean martial art although exiled in Iran as a boy.

He reported coming to Australia had specified him possibilities he did not have back dwelling.

“In Australia, every person has legal rights,” he said.

“We have very restricted tools, really primary tools, but we have massive hearts and massive perception.”

An Afghan man wearing a blue taekwondo outfit with slicked back hair smiles at the camera with children behind him
Mohammad Reza Hassani claimed his taekwondo academy was the most multi-cultural in South Australia.(ABC Information: Brant Cumming)

Akon is Mr Reza Hassani’s initially pupil to characterize Australia – anything he is extremely proud of.

He has been coaching her three times a week at the Enfield Community Centre in Adelaide’s north in preparing for her first international opposition and her best aim.

“I actually want to go to the Olympics, because that is the place the finest of the best go,” Akon explained.

“She is a great listener. I know she’s only 13 but she could make it,” Mr Reza Hassani reported.

Fellow learners support loved ones with expensive trip

The family members is trying to raise $9,000 to cover the value of the excursion to Bulgaria for her to start with intercontinental physical appearance.

Other pupils at the taekwondo academy have been a substantial source of that guidance.

Several of them are unable to depict Australia since they are not still citizens but have gone the excess mile to practice her.

A man wearing a grey shirt and black tie gives a 'thumbs up' to the camera standing next to a girl with a gold medal on her neck
Mohammad Reza Hassani and Akon Baak have shared various successes at national level in the latest decades.(Equipped: Melanie Baak)

“They want to assist me so that I can depict this whole club and symbolize them,” Akon explained.

Mrs Baak mentioned her daughter would get all of her activities with her as she battled the world’s finest.

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