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British Taekwondo: kicking on!

The success of Jades Jones and Lutalo Muhammad at London 2012 has catapulted the sport of Taekwondo in Britain into a realm of unprecedented participation and interest.

Since the conclusion of the Games, the team at British Taekwondo have spent countless hours conducting extensive research and results suggest that clubs around the country are being inundated. To be exact, there has been a 20% increase in membership and a near 50% increase in participation.

Adrian Tranter, President of British Taekwondo, enthused: “It’s everything I wished for. It’s like having Christmas, your birthday and everything at once. It’s just been an amazing summer culminating in more people doing more sport more often!

“The Olympics exceeded not only my expectations, but my wildest dreams in terms of enjoyment, tension and utter joy – every emotion you could possibly consider really.

“We had fantastic Games with great results, but what’s more important is that our sport demonstrated what a wonderful and dynamic Olympic sport it is. This gives us a great platform for us to build up a solid case for us continuing to be an Olympic sport in 2020 and we in Great Britain are looking forward to working with Dr Choue Chung-won, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Council and WTF family in securing that position.”

Now, here’s the tricky part: doing something with that momentum. How does a sport like Taekwondo push on from this success? For British Taekwondo, the legacy of the Games has always concerned getting more people practicing the sport at a young age and helping the transition into a top-level athlete, with the hope that they too can someday follow in the footsteps of today’s Olympic heroes.

“Firstly, it’s getting more people to do more Taekwondo more often, which means that we have to make sure our coaches can deliver our product in a cohesive and professional manner. We’re also making the clubs welcoming and safe, as well as a pillar of good work within their local communities,” revealed Tranter.

“Linking into that, it’s also to open up pathways to our local team through the cadets and juniors so that we’ve got a better pipeline of athletes coming through the system and that what they’ve been taught at a very early age is the right and proper delivery of our sport to a high level by an additional system of coach education for sport.”

Logically, the governing body have also set their sights on improving the governance of the sport, having already conjured up various initiatives, including the development of a coach education programme and a club development programme.

In addition, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with Doncaster college, who will be responsible for managing media operations and producing cutting-edge teaching aids on the federation’s website, in order to not only teach members the discipline, but also enable the coaches and the clubs to pass on essential techniques and skills.

Furthermore, expect two Non- Executive Directors to join the team, as British Taekwondo look to project the sport to a greater audience at a faster pace and secure a sustainable future.

Tranter concluded: “We see the potential for attracting sponsors, but we need to do it properly and professionally, which is why we need some high-level professional input.”

Let’s all hope that British Taekwondo can kick on after the expiring scenes of the summer!

By Edward Rangsi