2017 has been a big year for the club so far with a massive influx of new taekwondokas (the plural of a person skilled in taekwondo) through our Mini-Kids programme. The kids’ class has boosted from around six at the end of last year to about 12 or 13. It has been hard but rewarding work to see these kids grow in their knowledge of Taekwon-do and get better during every class. The challenges of running the Mini-Kids class has been rewarding to both myself and Mr. Harding who between us have been imparting our knowledge to the kids.

We’ve also had a couple of families start this year totalling eight new students which has put a bit of colour into our ranks as they have been grading over the year.

Shortly (two weekends from now) a contingent of 16 students and around ten parents and supporters will be heading to Christchurch for our annual Regional competition. The format for this year’s event is slightly different with the event being run in just one day instead of over two. This is going to make for a pretty long day for all of us but we’re all looking forward to it immensely. The competition is a show of individual talent, and also an opportunity to perform as part of a team. We have three teams this year (two girls’ teams and a boys’ team) and personally I can’t wait to see how they go. It has been great watching relationships between the students being forged as they work together on their team patterns with passing guidance from the senior students.

This year also sees the ITF World 2017 Championships being held in Ireland from 9th - 15th of October and our very own Lachlan Ellis has been selected to represent New Zealand in sparring against 50 to 60 others from around the world. Our club has been benefiting immensely from the sessions he has given us after attending the national training camps that are being held in the run-up to the championships. Go Lachlan!

The senior makeup of our club has changed a little also over the last twelve months, with a couple of old-hand taekwondoka joining the club. We have sometimes had seven black belts in our do-jang which is a far cry from how it looked a few years ago. This has had a great impact on the club and has allowed us to split into more focussed groups as part of our training. This has also given rise to an additional training session per week for the senior members, which has been opened to all students in the run-up to our Regional competition.

Until next time,

Bob Brown, 2nd gup, Mini-Kids instructor