Hartnett on

Carmela Hartnett is a master in taekwondo and recently returned from the Taekwondo World Championships.
Carmela Hartnett is a master in taekwondo and recently returned from the Taekwondo World Championships.

Carmela Hartnett travelled to Telford in England for the championships along with 2500 competitors on 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, 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.’

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,

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.

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

She will travel to Melbourne in September as part of the state team for the national championships.