With partnerships firmly in place with Taekwondo Canada and Sport NL, and with membership and participation growing we have focused our sights this year on sport development.
We have a provincial team preparing to attend tournaments outside the province. We have groups in charge of improving the standards of our officials and coaches, and another group in charge of refining and standardizing the way we teach poomsae with the long term goal of eventually assembling a provincial poomsae team as well.
To that end we’re hosting two training camps by Master Seungmin Rim who is the national poomsae coach. The first of these is already done with the second due to hit the west coast early in the new year.
The Provincials this year were held on Nov 29th and was the biggest event in recent years. This year there were 124 competitors representing all nine dojang’s across the province. There were 49 sparring divisions and a total of 211 medals given out.
Each year at the provincials we select one individual who demonstrates exceptional determination and indomitable spirit to receive the Collins Cup award. The award is named after our first president Arlene Collins who demonstrated the same characteristics while getting our organization off the ground.
This year it was won by a little girl named Charlotta Schön from Labrador City. Her instructor went with her to her school class to talk to her classmates about taekwondo and what the award means for her.
Despite a few hiccups that inevitably throw themselves at every event, the provincials went over pretty well. We learned many lessons that will help us improve for next year. We have to thank all of our awesome volunteers who made the tournament happen. Hopefully everyone walked away with at least one new friendship.
Also this year at the provincials we presented the NLATU banner to the owner of our newest dojang. Master Reggie Lawrence of Satori Elite Athletics. Master Lawrence is a student of Grandmaster Lee and is a national competitor who resides in CBS. His martial arts based training business is now expanded to include an official taekwondo dojang.
The Stephenville Taekwondo dojang has held a food drive for the local food bank each December for 19 years running. This year they have partnered with the Bay St. George YMCA to make the event even bigger.
Our very own Master Wesley Earle is being recommended as a Canadian poomsae competitor at the pan-am poomsae championships. Master Rim feels confident in Master Earle’s ability to perform well and represent Canada and Newfoundland. What makes this even more important to us is that only a year prior, Master Earle was in a coma fighting for his life after a sudden health issue sent him to the ICU. He is truly an inspiration to us all!
Lastly Earle’s taekwondo hosted the Brandon Parsons memorial tournament on Dec 10th and it turned out to be a great event. Lots of great competition, sportsmanship, and no major injuries. The medals were beautifully designed by our associations newest Master, Sheila McGrath, who graded for her 5th Dan the night before the tournament. Congratulations Master McGrath and everyone who competed at the tournament.