University Hosts Taekwondo Talent from Around the World
The University of Stirling hosted a national Taekwondo training camp featuring top talent from across the globe.
Stirling, Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, is set to develop the first national centre for Taekwondo – the sport which derives from Korean martial arts - in a bid to prepare athletes for World level competition.
And more than 30 players from Scotland, Norway and South Korea were on campus for the 8-day event which pitted home grown talent against two World Bronze medalists and students from the Korea National Sport University in Seoul.
Powerful kicks and punches are a key element of the Olympic sport and National Team Coach John Cullen was delighted with the progress his young Scots made during the camp.
He said: “We are trying to get our athletes ready for the flagship events throughout the world and this camp has proven to be a great opportunity by mixing with some of the best players in the world. The average age of the team is 18 so this is the future Commonwealth Games athletes.”
Cullen and several of his squad will form a Scottish hub at the University, which is already home to national centres in swimming, tennis, triathlon and women’s football.
The athletes will also be supported by sports scholarships as part of Stirling’s International Sports Scholarship Programme, which includes Olympic swimmer Todd Cooper and leading women’s golfer Catriona Matthew amongst its alumni.
The camp featured the Korea National Sport University captain Jung Yeong Joon, whose visit to Scotland came courtesy of kind support from the University’s International Office.
Ian Cockbain, Director of the Student Recruitment & Admissions Service, said: “The University of Stirling was proud to sponsor this important training camp for taekwondo, which allowed our international partners to experience the high quality sports facilities here at Stirling. As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, we are proud to welcome talented athletes from all over the world.”
As well as visiting the Stirling campus, many of the camp took advantage of a trip to Parkhead, home of Celtic FC, to meet South Korean footballers Cha Du-Ri and Ki Sung-Yong.
Taekwondo Scotland is working to develop strong international links in Scandinavia and South Korea. The Scottish leg of the camp follows a team meet in Norway earlier this summer, while the Scots will fly out to the Korea National Sport University on 24 August.
Taekwondo Scotland sport manager Jim Tully said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to bring some of the world’s best Taekwondo stars to the University of Stirling. It is all about growing the sport across Scotland and the development of a national centre on campus is a great step forward, giving athletes the chance to combine their sport and their studies.”