Yes, I know this is long over due. I said I would make mistakes and I did: while I was parted from my PC and iPad last week whilst away, that’s when I should have written this. My apologies.
So, a belated Happy New Year to all members and families! We start 2016 with exciting times ahead of us. It will be a year of change in British Taekwond. New direction, new ideas, new attitude and new behaviours leading to us becoming “the place to be”; the best NGB and the best WTF/ETU Member National Association.
New people will join us, new members will challenge us and new ideas will be tried. We will succeed with most but if we do fail on some, it will not be because we didn’t try!
There has been so much activity already in 2016 – Regional Poomsae training, regional Referee and Judges Courses, Regional Coach Education Courses, Regional Kyorugi events with planned Regional Dan Gradings. Did I mention it’s all ‘regional’ now? Dan Gradings will take place across the UK.
Thanks to all of our Tutors, Coaches and Leaders for your dedication to BT.
We had a great meeting with Dartfish, where we decided to embark on a programme to improve athlete performance through BT providing Video Replay facilities at BT events. Not to mention, providing the data recorded through Dartfish as an educational tool to our coaches and athletes so that they can analyse and improve their performances. John Stopforth together with Dartfish is arranging a pilot for one Court using top specification products as advised to us by Dartfish. If successful, we will invest our members money in further sets so that we can cover all of our regional and national events. Thanks to John, Beth, Steve, Margaret and Mehdi.
You will have noted, I hope, the introduction of our new “British Taekwondo Today” magazine. This is the first pilot issue and I would like to see it as a regular 10-12 issue per annum publication. Steve Blomeley is committed to developing this production for us supported by Beth Bishop in our Media and Communications function, who will continue to issue Newsletters and updates as they occur. Now, we need your help in advertising your group, club, members and self in the magazine! Either by submitting stories and/or by buying regular advertising space. Contact Beth and Steve about this, and thanks again to Steve and Margaret for your support.
Two more new initiatives – two partnerships – the first with the Army Martial Arts Association (AMAA) and the second with the British Students Taekwondo Federation (BSTF). We have committed to work in partnership with these two bodies to promote our art and sport further within the British Army and within our British Universities. You will hear more about these on our website soon. Too many to thank individually here, this but in particular to Mark Hayward of Predator and Colin West of the BSTF for making it happen.
I met up with the UKTDC again in early January to progress our discussions. I hope I’m correct in saying that these are going very well and I’m hopeful that many of our old friends will be back together with us again as one family very soon. Thanks to Nigel.
I welcome Theresa Johnson to our team in Mansfield. Theresa will supervise our membership services activities and office activities to ensure that we provide the best customer service to our coaches and members. Theresa will also take over from me in dealing with all invoices, expenses and payment requests to provide the link between the submissions, authorisation and payment via our accountants. Therefore in future all requests for payment should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not make direct contact with our accountants but use Theresa as your link. She is here to help us all!
Thanks to Graham Preece for heading up our initial exploratory meeting regarding the proposed BT Online Membership System. Thanks to Rick Simpson, Mark Yell and Margaret who are supporting this initiative together with our IT suppliers.
Last week I was in Istanbul, Turkey, in support of the ETU and European Qualification Event for Rio 2016. As you will already know, Mahama Cho was outstanding in being selected as the forth GBR representative for Rio. Well done Mahama, it was a pleasure to be there and to be British. During my visit I attended my first ETU Council Meeting which was both a pleasure and an honour for me. I had dinner with WTF President Dr Choue and ETU President Pragalos as well as developing many new and existing relationships with WTF/ETU officials and other MNA Presidents.
You will probably not know this bit but just after Christmas I received a call from WTF President Choue asking if I would serve Taekwondo in the capacity of Secretary General of the Commonwealth Taekwondo Union (CTU), with a view to establishing Taekwondo as a core sport in the Commonwealth Games. Our Board have approved this and I was therefore able to confirm my support and accept this great honour.
And so to the next week or so. This week the Board, lead by our Chair Ieda Gomes Yell together with Non Executive Director Paul Mckenzie, and I will interview short listed candidates for the role of Non Executive Director. This appointment will be made with view to adding significant commercial expertise to our Board.
Next week I will also be interviewed as one of the candidates for the role of Chief Executive Office, and I look forward to explaining my plans about how to develop British Taekwondo, for the benefit of all its members. Interviewers will include Ieda, Paul and Non Executive Director Jon Smith. I will let you know how I get on (I hope)
Keep enjoying your Taekwondo, keep participating, keep growing and be open to change.
Acting Chief Executive