Class kicks in for Carmela

Carmela Hartnett recently returned victorious from the Taekwondo World Championships. Picture: David Baylis d405473
Carmela Hartnett recently returned victorious from the Taekwondo World Championships. Picture: David Baylis d405473

Carmela Hartnett travelled to Telford in England for the championships along with 2500 competitors in 16 competition areas at the Skydome Arena last month.

She is a 7th dan black belt Taekwondo Oh Do Kwan teacher at venues in Maddington, Canning Vale, Riverton and Leeming. She started to train in martial arts as a 16-year-old.

During her 31-year martial arts career, Mrs Hartnett became the first woman to be coach of a national junior team, the first woman to be head of a national team and the first and only Australian to win more than 62 international medals.

‘I haven’t got any plans to stop. I want to compete for as long as possible,’ she said.

‘It’s not just a hobby but a lifestyle.

‘I don’t think about the medals, they are just a by-product of the training.’

Mrs Hartnett’s resume also includes gold, silver and bronze medals at the World Open and two gold, a silver and four bronze medals at world championships.

She is the first Australian to win a medal at a European international open championship in sparring, the first to win a gold medal in international forms competition.

Mrs Hartnett said she started training in taekwondo because of her brothers and for practical use.

‘I didn’t like running, aerobics or anything like that so I started training in taekwondo for fitness and self-defence with my brothers,’ she said.

Taekwondo is a big part of her family life. Her 29-year-old son, Graeme, still trains in taekwondo after starting as a child and her husband Ross Hartnett is her coach.

Mrs Hartnett said her influence was part of her son’s decision to take up taekwondo, but she never forced him.

Mrs Hartnett will travel to Melbourne in September as a member of the WA state team for the national championships.