We’re always excited to hear news & updates from our member clubs. We are celebrating our 40th year in 2022 and in this feature we shine a light on one of British Taekwondo’s newest clubs – Passion Taekwondo – which opened in Southampton this year.
The doors of a brand-new taekwondo club opened on the south coast of England on January 11th this year as Passion Taekwondo held its first official session.
Joss Kingsley set up Passion Taekwondo with the goal to produce elite athletes.
We are a family totally nuts about taekwondo and have four black belts in the family. Two of our daughters have been national champions for the last few years and we are enjoying seeing these new, young children develop in the sport we enjoy.
While it’s a very small club and the goal is to think big and aim high.
When setting up Passion Taekwondo the aim was to cater for an age range of 5-8 years old. With all members white belts and no previous experience. When the door opened Passion Taekwondo had seven students. All white belts apart from one, Zachary Kingsley, the son of the club’s founders who is a green tag. Our aim is to produce future athletes to go onto the British Taekwondo GB development programme. It seems like a farfetched dream when you are training 5 years olds on a kick paddle, but that is the aim.
One of our first steps was contacting Ian Leafe to ask if we could use the British Taekwondo performance shirts as part of our club kit as we knew this would help inspire the youngsters from an early age.
Although we will be using the traditional grading system, sparring will be our main emphasis, and the children have already started very advanced techniques. The class is very small – we have six members now – and will never grow over eight students. This is part of our plan, so that we can give focussed attention to each of the students.
We are only two months into the project, but we can already see the emphasis on fast footwork has started to pay dividends. Ideally, we were looking for three boys and girls of a similar height and age. It hasn’t quite worked out that way as we had twins arrive, and some of the students are just under 5 years old, but they seem to enjoy the activities and what we are doing at the club. Sometimes it may be daunting for them, but they have progressed nicely in the last couple of weeks.
Our aim is to make the sessions fun, but at the same time have a technical and advanced feel to the classes. All the parents are of a similar mindset. When we originally opened the doors, we told all the parents of our intentions, which were to produce elite children for the development programme, and the children would be expected to enter competitions on a regular basis, with the aim to enter the GB academy in the future.
We have decided to initially be a feeder club and when they are A class our members will be progressed to other taekwondo clubs in the local area.
The reason we have developed Passion Taekwondo in this way is for the love of the sport. We want to see the south coast produce elite athletes and enable Zachary to have sparring partners. While we were developing Zachary it seemed sensible to develop other children alongside of him so they can progress at the same rate. The children plan to be part of a team, to fight together, spar together, do Poomsae together and grade together. They plan to progress at the same pace to become A class fighters together. Zachary begun his taekwondo journey when he was 3 years old and now trains 4-5 times a week.
The club saw some success at the recent Belgium Open as Lily Kingsley won bronze in the 47kg Cadets. The club is looking forward to its athletes adding more honours in the future.
British Taekwondo is celebrating its 40th anniversary during 2022 and we’re sharing the stories of our members. We’re looking forward to hearing more about the successes of our new members as they grow and develop in the world of taekwondo over the coming weeks, months, and years.
If you would like to share your Taekwondo story please get in touch with Richard Gottfried, Marketing, Digital & Media Manager via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07706 342156.