Search for a Star – Para Places up for Grabs as GB Taekwondo Launches Talent Search
3rd December 2020
Matt Bush was a talented shot putter and javelin thrower before he decided to switch his sporting focus.
He also enjoyed moderate success in Japanese and Brazilian Ju-Jitsu prior to joining the expanding GB Para Taekwondo set-up in 2017.
Two years later, the Welsh heavyweight and Toyko 2020 Para hopeful made history by becoming the first British man to strike gold at the World Para Taekwondo Championships.
Teammate, Amy Truesdale, Britain’s trailblazing Para Taekwondo star, had previously claimed two world titles and is a holder of multiple other international medals.
Now the search is on for athletes to join the Para Taekwondo programme, operating from the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester.
To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, GB Taekwondo are launching a brand new talent search.
Desirable but not essential is a background in Kickboxing, Karate, Tang Soo Do (karate based Korean martial art), Muay Thai or Thai Boxing.
Athletes, like Bush, from other dynamic, explosive and sporting backgrounds also will be strongly considered.
“Essential,” says talent scout, Derek Morgan, on the lookout for athletes with the potential to compete at the 2024 and 2028 Paralympics in Paris and Los Angeles “Is a strong motivation to ‘fight’; and enjoy a combat environment.”
Applicants should be aged 14 onwards and possess an ability to meet the K43 and K44 para classifications.
These include athletes with unilateral arm amputation (or equivalent loss of function) or loss of toes which impact the ability to lift the heel properly.
Successful candidates will operate at -61kg, -75kg and +75kg (men) and -49kg, -58kg, +58kg (women).
“I was doing Javelin and had an injury which ruled me out of qualifying for the Rio Olympics in 2016,” said Bush of his conversion to Taekwondo.
“Through Sport Wales, I heard Taekwondo was going to join the Paralympic movement and because it was similar to the other martial arts I had done, they brought me up for a trial at GB Taekwondo.
“To win the world title after coming into the sport late was a fantastic achievement. But I am sure there are many other talented athletes who would love Taekwondo and can be as equally successful.”
Taekwondo is one of only two new Paralympic sports at Tokyo 2020, 12 years after the inaugural Para Worlds and another four before the sport was created.
To submit your expression of interest to GB Taekwondo, please click here.