Hills taekwon-do stars to fly the flag at world championships in Minsk

BACK: Astina Hammond (16) of Helena Valley (2nd Dan). FRONT L-R: Brianna Burgess (14) of Brigadoon (1st Dan), Jade Lynch (14) of Mt Helena (1st Dan) and Jon Burgess of Brigadoon (2nd Dan). Photo: David Baylis
BACK: Astina Hammond (16) of Helena Valley (2nd Dan). FRONT L-R: Brianna Burgess (14) of Brigadoon (1st Dan), Jade Lynch (14) of Mt Helena (1st Dan) and Jon Burgess of Brigadoon (2nd Dan). Photo: David Baylis

HILLS students trained in taekwondo by one of the world’s highest-ranking instructors will fly the flag at the world championships in Minsk.

Grandmaster Linda Low (69) is the only woman in the world to be promoted to 9th Dan by the International Taekwon-Do Federation.

For more than 25 years, she has taught the martial art in Darlington at her Inspirit Taekwon-Do Academy, Helena College and other venues in the Swan Valley.

Students selected to compete in the world championships from August 19-27 excelled in events at the nationals in Sydney.

Ms Low said students trained for many hours to prepare for the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Junior and Veteran World Championships.

Her son Justin is a 5th Dan black belt and world bronze medallist.

He will join them as one of three Australian coaches at the events.

“The students are very excited about the championships and one of the girls is literally counting the days until we go,” she said.

Photo: David Baylis

To be world class, the girls practise their patterns for several hours a day until they perfect their rhythm, balance and timing.

Mt Helena’s Jade Lynch and Brianna Burgess, of Brigadoon, are 1st Dan at the age of 14 and Brianna’s father Jon is a bronze medallist and 2nd Dan who has not lost his desire to compete at 52.

Second Dan Astina Hammond (16), of Helena Valley is the fourth member of the 2018 Inspirit team.

Ms Low said the several of the girls began training at the age of seven and passed about 10 belt grades to achieve the status of Dan.

“We have the tenets (principles) of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirit, which is the amazing courage that gets you through empty in life,” she said.

Her interest in taekwondo stemmed from a desire to learn self-defence as a young woman studying social anthropology at the University of WA.

“Taekwondo is all consuming and wonderful, and my students are like an extension of my family,” she said.