ROUTE INTO GB TAEKWONDO ACADEMY
Great Britain Taekwondo, in partnership with Sport England, recently announced an exciting new opportunity for young talented WTF Taekwondo athletes. In a mission to become the number one taekwondo nation in the world, a large amount of resource has been given to create a sustained England Talent Pathway in order to achieve long term success for Great Britain at European, World and Olympic Championships.
Before today, the route into the academy was through recognition at the National Championships or International competitions but with no formal talent scouting system. Now, GB Taekwondo and Sport England have created a logical pathway for young athletes to understand how to realise their ambition of becoming the next British Taekwondo star.
First of all, if you are completely new to WTF Taekwondo and would like to give it a go, please click here which will direct you to the ‘find a club’ page on the National governing body website. Please note only by becoming a member of a BTCB club and training regularly at that club, will the opportunities of this programme become available. This will highlight local BTCB clubs in your area.
If you are already at a recognised WTF club and you focus on the sparring element of WTF Taekwondo, liaise with your club coach to find out details about entering competitive competitions both Nationally and Internationally. By doing this, you will gain both experience and recognition from the GB coaches.
Athletes who already compete at the National Championships and International Competitions now have the opportunity seek further development through National Talent Squad training. Squad training is aimed at cadet athletes (10-14) and junior athletes (14-17) who are excelling in their age group and have the ambition to excel in WTF Taekwondo. In 2013 will see the introduction of Regional Talent Squad training which will lead into the National squad. For now, keep a look out on the website of when to apply for squad training. If you continue to perform to a high level through cadet/junior level at competition and squad training and show signs of being a potential world class athlete, your suitability for the GB academy will be monitored.
It must be emphasised that National Talent Squad training is not a Taekwondo camp. It is an education centre which encompasses all areas of service provision to emphasise personal and Taekwondo development. Squad training will utilise world class support in a number of fields including psychology, nutrition, strength and conditioning, injury management, anti doping and performance lifestyle. This is to ensure athletes are educated in all aspects necessary to ensure personal development and quick transition if you progress to Senior GB Academy.
Excelling junior athletes who have potential may be invited onto the National Junior Homestay Programme (begins in 2012). This will give athletes to opportunity to be a part of a full time centralised programme which caters for Taekwondo training and education. Athlete’s suitability for the homestay programme will be continually monitored at high level competitions and National Junior Talent Squad training. More information about the homestay programme will be released when available.
However, this is not the only way into the National Junior Homestay Programme or the GB Taekwondo Academy. In 2009, GB Taekwondo launched a talent transfer initiative called Talent 2012: Fighting Chance which gave athletes from alternative combat sports an opportunity to showcase their skills in WTF Taekwondo. The initiative proved a real success with Andrew Deer (ITF Taekwondo) and Damon Sansum (Kickboxing) graduating from the programme and pushing forward with selection for London 2012. Towards the end of 2011/beginning 2012, GB Taekwondo will be launching another talent transfer initiative focusing on the Rio Olympics in 2016. To apply, keep a look out on the website for dates and how to apply.