As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations we’re sharing the stories of our members. In this feature we find out more about 6th Dan Instructor Peter Stewart and the Lisburn Taekwondo Club in Northern Ireland.
I started Taekwondo in 1985 and trained for one year, however I had to stop sport due to an injury.
Fast forward to 1991 and I started training again and then in 1995 achieved my Black Belt 1st Dan. Shortly after this my coach told me he was leaving the country and asked me to take the club on.
So, in May 1995, ten years after I’d first entered the world of taekwondo, I started running Lisburn Taekwondo Club along with the help of a few friends within the club.
We’re very happy to have remained in Lisburn Leisureplex throughout this time. Almost 30 years!
The sport has increased in popularity over the years and the club began to grow. Although I run the club as a volunteer, the club continued to grow and after starting up a dedicated kid’s class in 2007 we had around 110 members – which, as a volunteer, is more than enough to manage.
As I work for the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, and must work shifts and weekends, I have many superb Assistant Coaches who help with the general coaching within the club while I have to work.
Since taking up coaching I have been keen to continue my learning and development and have completed the foreign instructor’s course, sport taekwondo courses and became an international referee in Poomsae.
I have loved the sport since starting and have visited some beautiful parts of the world to compete. Working for the Fire service I am eligible to compete at the World Police & Fire Games which are held bi-annually. I have been very fortunate to have won gold in Belfast 2013, Gold in Fairfax, USA in 2015 and Gold again in China 2019. I am currently in training for the next edition of games to be held in Rotterdam this year.
In 2012 I managed to convince my daughter Amy and her good friend to start training, it’s great to say that 10 years later they are both still training. Amy is now 16 and a member of the GB National Poomsae Squad performing in freestyle competitions and is the current British Freestyle champion. Like me Amy has enjoyed travelling to compete and has represented GB at the European Championships that were held in Turkey. She has also competed for GB at the Belgium and German Opens, bringing home two gold medals in Belgium and a bronze from Germany. Amy was also selected to compete at the World championships that were scheduled for Denmark but due to covid these championships had to be cancelled.
We are both hoping to continue to train and travel together, sharing memories along the way. Amy has been a pleasure to coach from joining back in 2012 and continues to strive towards improving with her sights set on her 3rd dan grading later in the year.
If you would like to share your taekwondo story please get in touch with Richard Gottfried, Marketing, Digital & Media Manager via email@example.com or 07706 342156.