SURINAME-.Kelvin Fernald, won a bronze medal at the South American Games in Chile, in the category of 58 kg, bantamweight. He wants his country to invest more in preparation in order to compete in the Olympic Games. “I want the best for Taekwondo Suriname”, says to mundotaekwondo.com.
M.T-. What is your full name ?
K.F-.Kevin Gordon Christopher Fernald
M.T-. When were you born and where?
K.F-. I was born on the 26th of January 1991 in Paramaribo
M.T-. Where did you get the inspiration to practice taekwondo and at what age did you start with taekwondo ?
K.F-. I started with taekwondo when I was 5 years old and I got the inspiration from my father who is also an taekwondo instructor. When I was a little boy my father always brought me to the dojang and so I began practicing taekwondo, first as game and later seriously.
M.T-. Which grade do you currently have in taekwondo ?
K.F-.I’m currently the holder of the 3rd degree Black Belt.
M.T-. Do you have other hobbies besides taekwondo and are you still going to school ?
K.F-.Yes, besides taekwondo I like to play basketball, soccer and just have some fun with friends. Currently I’m studying Civil Engineering at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname
M.T-. How do you combine school and sport and still make progress in both areas ?
K.F-. It’s a matter of good planning and setting priorities. I know when to make the right decisions and why.
M.T-. Who is your role model ?
K.F-. To be honest, my father is my role model because he is the only taekwondo athlete from Suriname who won gold at the Pan-American Taekwondo Championships.
M.T-. You recently participated in the South American Games ( Odesur ) and won a bronze Medal. Can you briefly tell us how you prepared for this tournament and what you experienced when you took third place ?
K.F-. Before I started the tournament I had a very good feeling and my self esteem was boosted. When I reached the quarter finals I told my self that no matter what, I have to win this fight. I fought hard and was able to win the quarter final match. Unfortunately I lost in the semi finals, but I learned from my mistakes and it’s a motivation for me to win gold the next time.I was happy that I still won a bronze medal, but I strive for better. It was a good feeling at the medal ceremony to see the flag of my country go up. Not everybody can experience that.
M.T-. How were the preparations for the tournament?
K.F-. The preparations where good. We trained everyday and there was a lot of variety in our Training. We did a lot of conditioning training, strength training and sharpness training. As we came closer to the tournament we did more sharpness training and conditioning,especially the last days before the tournament.
M.T-. In your opinion what do you think helped you to win this medal?
K.F-. By working hard and bringing a lot of sacrifices. If you want to be successful you have to bring a lot of sacrifices and put some things beside. You have to have a lot of discipline.Also the support of my parents and my coach helped me to be successful. Our coach is not only a person who trains us but he helps us with a lot of other stuff besides training. We can always count on him and we appreciate that very much of him
M.T-. You’ve won a bronze medal for Suriname and it’s been a while that Suriname won a
Medal at his tournament. Does this change you as a human being or are you still the same Kevin ?
K.F-. I will always behave as the same Kevin and won’t become arrogant because I’ve won a bronze medal at the South American Games. A lot of people, especially the young athletes look up to me and I have to set a very good example for them. I’m trying to become better and I’ve noticed that I have to work harder to reach higher goals.
M.T-. What are the reactions you got from your parents, your trainer, from the Surinamese people, fellow students and friends ?
K.F-. I received a lot of positive reactions and got a lot of support from every person that I know. The Surinam people are very proud of me and inspire me to continue with my sport and win more tournaments.
M.T-. Besides this remarkable achievement are there other highlights you’ve achieved in your career ?
K.F-. Yes, I won bronze at the Pan-American Taekwondo tournament in 2009 in Puerto Rico.
Gold at the Caribbean Championships in Barbados. I got honored at the Hall of Fame
Taekwondo in New Jersey. In 2005 I became the most talented sporter of Suriname and I
also got a recognition from the Surinam Taekwondo Association (STA) for winning bronze
in Puerto Rico at Pan-American Championships and also bronze in Chili at the South
American Games .
M.T-. Are there any downsides in your taekwondo career?
K.F-. Yes, when I got injured just before a tournament so I couldn’t compete and when I
participated at the first South American Games in Columbia I lost in the quarter finals in the
M.T-. Are you satisfied with the level of taekwondo in Suriname? If not, where do you think the problem?
K.F-. We have a lot of good fighters in Suriname, but I don’t think that we’re there jet. We still
have to work hard to bring taekwondo to a higher level in Suriname, but due to financial
shortage we’re not able to reach that level jet. We need to get more opportunities to
participate in training camp and compete more in international tournament. The government
needs to invest more in sports, especially taekwondo. Also the rewards towards athletes is not
M.T-. What do you think the STA and the Surinam government can do to upgrade the level of taekwondo in Suriname?
K.F-. The government needs to put more money in taekwondo. Send the athletes to more training camps and establish a program for athletes that go to school and work so that they can get more time to train.
M.T-. What do you want to achieve further with Taekwondo and how long will you continue to compete in tournaments ?
K.F-. My dream is to compete at the Olympics. I will practice taekwondo as long as I feel good and fit.
M.T-. Do you have a final message for the youth of Suriname and the world?
K.F-. My message : Play Sports. Sport keeps you healthy and fit. Stay away from drugs and crime. If you play sports you can achieve a lot, as long as you’re serious and have discipline.
That way you can help others also with your experiences . If you focus on your goals and
work hard everything is possible.
.1. Ignacio Morales (CHI) GOLD
.2. Mayko Votta (URU) SILVER
.3. Kevin Fernald (SUR) BRONZE
.+. Harold Avella (COL) BRONZE