Republished from www.gosports.com.my
They say curiosity killed the cat. For Taiwan’s Ren Ming Qin curiosity had its benefits. It was curiosity that got her hooked to the kabaddi in 2012 and being picked as the Most Valuable Player at the last World Cup Kabaddi.
“My school, Hualien County Ji’an Junior High School, introduced kabaddi as part of the sports lesson when I was in Form Two. My classmates and I were curious to know what the game was about and decided to attend the introductory programme,” said the 21-year-old.
Unlike others, Ming Qin was smitten by the Indian traditional game.
“After attending the first session, I knew I wanted to continue. I have never played any other sports except kabaddi. Perhaps it was this new connection and wonderful relationship that made me fall in love with kabaddi,” said the pint-sized lass with precocious talent.
It was not long for Ming Qin’s growing stature in the game to capture the imagination of her younger sister Ren Ming Xiu, three years her junior.
Both sisters were part of the Taiwanese team that clinched the silver behind India in their international debut at the World Cup in Melaka last year. Ming Qin was also the captain of the side.
When asked as to who was the better player among the two sisters, Ming Qin was quick to come to her sisters defence.
“We are both powerful. I am good in defence and my sister is good in raiding,” said Ming Qin.
The pair currently play for the ABECA Kabaddi Club in Hsinchu and train under coach Wang Tzu Jen. In conjunction with the recent World Kabaddi Day in March, Ming Qin was awarded as the Best Player with her club picked as the Best National Organisation in Taiwan.
Success early on has not diminished Ming Qin’s hunger for more success, and at the same time show her humility.
“I was very happy to be given the opportunity to represent Taiwan at the World Cup and win the award. It helped me build a lot of confidence. I just told myself in my mind that I had waited nearly six years to compete at the world stage and wanted just to give my best and enjoy the game,” said Ming Qin, who was part of the team that won the 2016 National President’s Cup High School Women’s Championship.
Ming Qin admitted that when she first started playing kabaddi, she was not physically strong to play the robust sport.
“But after continuous a normal training and the accumulation of experience I found my niche and saw the advantage of specialising in the defence,” said Ming Qin.
Kabaddi is unique, where defence is a team effort while attacking is a solo effort. All payers will need to be adept in both offense and defense to excel.
“Initially when I first started playing kabaddi, my family had no particular reaction on my choice. But, soon enough when I started winning, they started encouraging me as well accompanying me to matches,” said Ming Qin.
She found success with her team at the 2017 National President’s Cup Social Women’s Championship and last year she led the Hsuan Chiang University to the Taiwan National Games Women’s Team title.
“Winning also helped me earn some bonus from the team and this helped towards the family expenditure,” she added.
He parents Wang Fengan and mother Ren Chunmei have been strong pillars in both Ming Qin and her sisters pursuit in kabaddi.
While she is only 21, Ming Qin has also taken the role as the elder sister to her teammates.
“There is still much for me to learn in my role as the captain. In addition to leading the team to the pitch, I also want to play the dual role of player-coach to my teammates,” said Ming Qin.
And she sees strong support from her teammates, coaches and club, who have similar goals in wanting to see kabaddi grow in Taiwan.
“It helps me not only to master the skills needed to play the game but also help me learn communication skills and leadership qualities that would be useful in the different stages in my sports career,” she added.
Ming Qin said that, she like her teammates enjoy the training sessions as they all have the same desire of winning.
“The sweetest memory is the feeling you get in victory. Every time in winning an important game, you will never be able to describe the excitement. No matter what the problem in practice or competition, the most important thing is to cherish the opportunity,” she added.
Ming Qin also cherishes the challenge to test herself against the best the world has to offer.
“Every time I watch the professional games or Asian Games, I hope for the opportunity test myself with them. But the ultimate goal is still to tell the world that I come from Taiwan,’ said the confident player.
Ming Qin, however, feels that the kabaddi still has plenty of room to grow in the island nation.
“Taiwan lacks kabaddi players. It is the same group of players competing against each other in most competitions,” she lamented.
She hoped to see more youngsters taking up the game and bring glory to Taiwan in the future.
“As for me I will continue to work hard for more success for Taiwan and inspire the younger players to improve their game,” said Ming Qin.