Could this be the end of my Taekwondo dream?
As I follow the light and its shining beam
If this is my final fight, then like a Diamond I will shine bright.
To my Taekwondo Family around the world, I am Sister Linda Sim, a nun from Singapore. I am 67 years old and I may compete for the last time at the Poomsae World Championships in Korea this month. Here I share with you (AT A GLANCE) my spirit-filled journey, that is nurtured by faith, and my Taekwondo family.
1955 It all began with a childhood dream of learning a martial art so that I could defend myself and serve my country.
1972 At the age of 17, the dream became a reality when Taekwondo classes started at my Parish Church.
1979 During my peak training at the church basement, I was called to serve God in various countries. The pain of leaving my parents, family, friends, country – and Taekwondo was unfathomable. I spent 17 years in England and 3 years in Zimbabwe, Africa.
2004 I came back to Singapore as a Co-ordinator at our hospital in Singapore so that I could support my father in the caring for my mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
2007 To my delight, on one of my hospital rounds I met with the Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) Management Committee – the late, President Milan Kwee, General Manager, and Secretary General – who were starting Taekwondo for Children with Cancer. I was entrusted with the program, which was fully sponsored by the STF, and I started participating in national Poomsae championships with the Cancer children as an encouragement and companion.
2018 It was such an honour and privilege to be invited by World Taekwondo President Dr. Choue and supported by STF for the World Taekwondo demonstration for His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican. For me meeting the Pope and having his blessing was God’s endorsement of my Taekwondo journey thus far.
2019 As the cancer children recovered and grew into their teens, they returned to normal school activities and other sports. Only a handful continued with Taekwondo training and the sessions stopped with the outbreak of Covid-19.
2021 I was thrilled when the STF allowed me to join the Singapore National Poomsae Team for training. As the oldest member and “Grandma” of the team, the STF gave me the opportunity to compete at international Poomsae championships since 2011. Indeed, this was dream come true for me as I always longed for the privilege to be a Singapore flag bearer. Hence, each time I compete and arrive at a podium flag-raising moment my spirit soars to new heights!
2022 As I approach what might be my last competition, I am still inspired by some quotes which keeps me going and can serve as inspirational messages to you wherever you are reading this “The black belt around my waist does not represent who I am – It represents what I can be”.
Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth - associated with strength, love and health, reflecting pure light. My hope is to embody these beautiful qualities in my life and to develop an over 70 category so that we will have truly have Taekwondo for All!.
I am deeply grateful to be so richly blessed by the people whom I have encountered along this “Habit to diamond” transformation. I wish you all faith and joy on your Taekwondo journey. Look out for my video this month and I encourage everyone to train hard and SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND.