International Umpire Course 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, January 20.

Indeed, it was my first overseas trip with the fellow Island Taekwon-Do Centre (ITC) team. 11 of us met at the Changi International Airport for a nice breakfast on the morning of 19 January, before making our way to board the flight to Kuala Lumpur. Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by Aaron Sir, from Malaysia. It was about an hour’s drive between KL LCCT airport and the hotel (Wisma Olympic Sport Hotel) which hosted us for the duration of the trip. We arrived at the hotel in the late afternoon. After we got our room keys, we headed out for a late lunch.

We went to the food court at Petalling Street’s Chinatown, which was within walking distance from our hotel. We had fried kway teow, prata and etc. (yummy yummy!). Of course, after our late lunch, we continued to search for more food around that area. We decided to settle with some fruits and 罗汉果龙眼燉冬瓜, a cooling drink which was highly recommended for helping with the sweltering heat in Kuala Lumpur. Slowly we made our way back to the hotel to have a little OTOT (own time own target) time, while we waited for the Hong Kong team to arrive.

We had dinner with Master Trevor Nicholls, Master David Lau, Master Sng, the Hong Kong Team and some of the officials from Malaysia. Although we were at the same food court, we tried the beef bee hoon (soup/dry) this time round. It was already 11pm after dinner, we ‘escorted’ little Alex back to the hotel, before heading out again to continue our food hunting (as the night is still young right?).

The next day, we woke up early in the morning to get ready for the Umpire Course. Had our in-hotel breakfast buffet, and then headed to the event hall, which was just beside the hotel. Soon after, everyone gathered, Master Trevor Nicholls gave his welcome speech, followed by Master Sng leading us all in a short warm-up. For the first half of the course, Mark Sir and Wendy Mdm taught us the correct procedures for umpires during individual pattern and free sparring. At some point of time, we got into small groups to practice with each other, and volunteers were called out for demonstrations.

Soon, it was time for lunch at a near-by Chinese restaurant (碧华园), we have捞鱼生(Lo Hei) together with other tables. Everyone had a great time during the Lo Hei session. After the Lo Hei session, several other delicious dishes were served. The second half of umpire course continued after a short break after lunch. We learnt the procedures for the central umpire in individual patterns as well as point tabulation during sparring. We also had a taste of the new electronic scoring system (for individual patterns, team patterns and sparring), which provided more transparent results to the audiences and most importantly to the competitors.

The one-day umpire course was soon coming to an end, I believe that the participants had a precious experience. While some of us may have learnt the umpire procedures briefly during training, the course definitely provided better insight into umpiring. Shortly after, Master Trevor Nicholls presented the umpire course certificates to all participants.

After the fulfilling umpire course, the organizer arranged transport for everyone to have dinner together at a western restaurant, The Ship. Each of us ordered our meals, and shared a platter of escargot. The restaurant sported a nice ambience, and many people were celebrating their birthdays in the restaurant. Once we were done with our dinner, we continued our food search during the night. Walking around Chinatown area, we decided to have prata at one of the small shops. Unknowingly, we were out till around 2am.

On the last day in Kuala Lumpur, Master Sng and us, the remaining team (some had left due to other commitments), had Dim Sim for lunch (DELICIOUS!) at Chuai Heng Restaurant together with Mr Kong. We would like to thank Mr Kong for taking time off his busy schedule to have lunch with us. After lunch, it was time for a little shopping. Within the short period of time, we explored Loe 10, Sungai Wang and Time Square, and even had a bowl of herbal jelly each before heading back to hotel to prepare for the journey home. Before we knew it, our 3 days 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur was over.

We enjoyed our short stay in Kuala Lumpur very much and would like to extend our gratitude to the Organizing Committee from Malaysia for organizing this event, and of course, to Carnation Mdm, for taking care of the team and all the effort put in to this trip. I hope that more ITC members will join in the fun for the upcoming events.

Yuki Fung

Written by Ms. Yuki Fung, 1st Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2013

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