CEO blog – November 2022.

National Sport Championships

With having so many events happening, it seems long ago already but the National Sport Championships in Sheffield in September was a great success with a record entry and two superb days of competition.

Our Taekwondo family seemed to like the venue and freer flowing layout this year and a big thanks and congratulations to all the clubs that came and supported the event.

Particular thanks to all the referees and international referees that stepped up and travelled to make the event the success it was and athlete experience as good as it can be.

Also big thanks and shout out to Quest, Lion and Aspire Taekwondo club members for the massive help with the set up and strip down of the venue (the magic doesn’t happen otherwise, and I can’t thank Mike, John, Dan and their respective clubs enough).

Here’s to next year and an even bigger edition of the event!

World Taekwondo Grand Prix

Another huge Taekwondo event in Manchester – the second in five months, following on from the European Championships.

It’s British Taekwondo members that fill the stands and support the event delivery underneath with dozens of British Taekwondo club members acting in key roles.

Big congrats to all the GB athletes, Darren Naraine & Claire Laybourne who flew the flag as referees and all the members that make events in the UK still some of the best in the world.

Well done to Matt Marshall, Joy Fern and the full support team for putting on a world class event.

National Poomsae Championships

The weekend of the 12th and 13th November saw the biggest Poomsae Nationals we’ve had, and held at the University of Worcester Arena, more signs of recovery after a torrid couple of Covid years.

It was wonderful to see so many clubs passionate about Poomsae coming together in our showcase of the year and a great atmosphere over the two days.

Thanks go to our sponsors Range Sports for providing the Team awards for both the Sport & Poomsae National events this year and their ongoing support for our Cadet, Under 21 & Poomsae National Teams.

British Taekwondo Office

We’ve had a very busy few months at the British Taekwondo office in Manchester.

Running four large events (a Euro’s, two Nationals & a Grand Prix) has placed a lot of strain on the capacity of our central office – events tend to do that! – and along with staff changes including the recruitment of new roles, the organisation has gone through a period of change and growth recently. On top of that, we have had the dreaded covid and illness to contend with like everyone else.

All of these things added together have meant some of our central services have sporadically not been as responsive and as quick as they should be – especially around the time of events – and for that I would like to apologise and assure clubs that might have had the odd issue contacting the office and accessing services that things are settling down.

Unless the world throws yet another curveball at everyone!

Talking of staff and change – we are really sorry to see our Membership Services Office Emily Moore and our Safeguarding Manager Rachel Smith moving on to different pastures!

Emily originally trained (at university) in performance lifestyle coaching & Psychology and more recently completed further qualifications. Emily has taken the plunge and decided to follow this passion and set up a business on her own.

We’re very sad to see her go but wish her all the best in a “new” career.

Likewise, having spent 25 years in the Safeguarding, Education and HR sector, Rachel is also spreading her wings in a career in the care industry.

Rachel and Emily have been with British Taekwondo since the start of the new structure in 2019/2020 and implementation of our strategic plans. They have been instrumental in putting policy, process and procedure into most of our National Governing Body’s day-to-day operations and providing a service to our members. Whilst most of what they do is beneath the surface, their contribution has been immeasurable.

Both will leave us before Christmas, and in the meantime we are recruiting new members of staff to these roles.

As always, I want to wish everyone good luck in upcoming events, and I hope you all continue to enjoy your training. It’s excellent to see and hear about how much support and cooperation there is among the British Taekwondo membership, and I look forward to seeing it continue and grow as we move forward into 2023.


Ian Leafe

Chief Executive