AMC Taekwondo in Stockport is growing membership numbers, training coaches and recently achieved the Safeguarding Code Mark in Martial Arts.
We’re always keen to hear stories from our member clubs. In this piece we find out more about AMC Taekwondo in Woodley, Stockport, how they’ve grown their club in the months since lockdown, their coaching team and development, and how they’ve recently achieved the Safeguarding Code Mark in Martial Arts – meaning they are demonstrating an ongoing commitment to safer sport.
AMC Taekwondo are a relatively new club, having started in mid-2019 with just six students. Obviously, the pandemic came in 2020 which had an enormous impact on all martial art clubs, but we had grown to around 20 members before the first lockdown hit. So, we were eagerly waiting to come back to training and got into advertising the club as best we can. After lockdown, we started to have an increase in more people wanting to try something new and Taekwondo gave them what they needed.
It wasn’t until 2021 that we saw normalised training again, but that didn’t stop people wanting to join us and the next 12 months from Feb 2021 saw our club grow to 68 members, with the majority of the students under the age of 14. This increase in membership meant we had to hold four sessions a week, with dedicated Beginners, Young Warriors and senior classes, and also a mixed class. And looking at possibly even more classes. All of this is done under not-for-profit roles. The time spent by the coaches is done in their free time from their full-time work.
Over the past year Chief Coach Andy McHugh has asked some of the higher-grade students if they wanted to step up to the role of assistant coaches (in training). We now boast three Dan graded coaches and two Kup graded assistant coaches. One of our team is going for the official Assistant Coach Award qualification from British Taekwondo after his next grading in September, where he will be at the eligible Kup grade for it.
Due to the rapid expansion of our Young Warriors class we are also looking at having our Young Warriors more involved and are looking at a junior leadership programme for them, so they can be the next coaches when they grow up and inspire the next generation of athletes.
We have started to do presentations to other local clubs in the area, our first one being the Romiley Beavers Troop, our next one is with the Woodley Rainbows Group, both part of the famous Scout and Brownies traditions.
Recently AMC Taekwondo have been looking at ways to grow our club even further and due to the huge growth at the club over the past 18 months, our Chief Coach asked for another student to join our current Welfare Officer, Lewis.
We appointed Nina, who has stepped up to the challenge for us. With experience in child safeguarding measures, due to the nature of her work life, has been incredibly helpful for the club, its leaders and our members.
Nina, along with fellow club officer Mike, looked at the policies the club had in place, and looked at the ways we could improve them to help grow the club with a focus on child and young adult safety. This is where the Safeguarding Code came into play.
The scheme was set up by the Sports Minister in 2018, with the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts created to reward martial arts organisations and individuals who exercise good safeguarding practice in their delivery. The Safeguarding Code demonstrates that you work to protect the children, young people and adults that are involved in your activities, as well as those coaches & instructors who are working with them.
Attaining the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts mark gives that our club has quality safeguarding processes and practices in place.
During the process we overhauled all of our policies to ensure that we were eligible for the mark. The process took a few weeks for us to go through, even though we had everything in place, we needed to split it up a little to show more clarity. Following the guidance set out by British Taekwondo regarding policies, we completely re-wrote our policies, and made it easier for our students and parents to be involved and understand each policy that we have created.
We were delighted when the news came through that we had been awarded the mark, which shows our commitment to Safeguarding, and even more proud when using the interactive map that shows we are the only WT club in the North West that holds the mark.
We would definitely encourage more clubs to go for the mark, as it is a great platform for parents or adults looking to train, to find a club that has committed policies in place so they can be assured that there are correct safeguarding measures in place that have been developed on a National Scale.
We have already had interest from parents looking to enrol their child due to us attaining the Safeguarding Mark, which is fantastic news to us. We are constantly looking at new ways to advertise this and bring more people into the art.
Visit the AMC Taekwondo website for more information on the club.
What is the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts?
The Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts recognises clubs or providers in England who have demonstrated that they have reached and maintained good safeguarding standards. We encourage Governing Bodies, associations, organisations, and franchisers to register interest and support the Code and activity deliverers who can work towards attaining recognition along with clubs and individual instructors, coaches and teachers outside of a club structure.
The scheme empowers parents/carers and educational establishments to make informed decisions when selecting a club or provider for their child/children, young people or adults in their care.
The Safeguarding Code has been developed through close consultation between Sport England, representatives from martial arts governing bodies and those with years of expertise in safeguarding. Support was also provided by the Child Protection in Sport Unit, the Ann Craft Trust and NWG Network.
It is funded by the National Lottery and was launched by the Sports Minister in early 2018.
You can find out more about the Safeguarding Code Mark in Martial Arts on the Safeguarding Code website.
If you would like to share your Taekwondo story please contact Richard Gottfried, Marketing, Digital & Media Manager via email@example.com or 07706 342156.