Nationals beckon for young local talent

Hudson Shipp (14), instructors Hayden Freeman and Chalitra Buanuch, Tyson Puggaard (18) and (at front) Jayden Borland (8) and Shante Regnault (8).  Picture: Matt Jelonek       www.communitypix.com.au   d441396
Hudson Shipp (14), instructors Hayden Freeman and Chalitra Buanuch, Tyson Puggaard (18) and (at front) Jayden Borland (8) and Shante Regnault (8). Picture: Matt Jelonek       www.communitypix.com.au d441396

Training in Midland, the enthusiastic martial arts champions are keen to train harder and longer before the championships in both sparring and pomsae.

Tyson Puggaard (18) has been training with his instructor Chalitra Buanuch while ATI Martial Arts owner Hayden Freeman (19) has been training competitors since he was 12.

His father Darren Freeman ran a Tae Kwon Do centre in Brown Park, Swan View for many years.

He said he was delighted the young athletes� hard work had paid off.

Jayden Borland and Shante Regnault (both 8) have been sparring to practise their pomsae.

Under 15s Hudson Shipp and Bryn Rankin are also competing in the championships.

All five have participated in the sports program at Midland and selected by their instructor after winning medals in the state competitions.

�After the State titles they can then become national champions and qualify for internationals in Italy and Sweden and that�s the goal,� Mr Freeman said.

�It�s a big thing for them and it drives their career forward and parents have to support the kids and we have to fundraise and these kids are so dedicated and train so much,� he said.

Hayden has been training for 17 years three days a week.

For the past 18 months he has been operating the business with what he learned from his father who ran a club before retiring from the sport.

Mr Freeman said an instructor travels with competitors to the venues and makes sure that things travel smoothly and supports them through the process.

Taekwondo is gaining in popularity and profile as a sport in Australia. Recently Sports Taekwondo Australia appointed Anne Austin and Louise McCoach to the board of directors for a three year term. Chairman John Walker said the two brought a wealth of expertise and cultural change to the Board. While Austin has a background in organisational change, change management and marketing, McCoach is bringing skills in banking, finance and law, and also represented New Zealand at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Triathlon. It signals a new era in the sport in Australia being a major player on the international stage.

Mr Freeman said the sport needed more funding and the appointment of the two women to the leadership team showed that it could compete in an entrepreneurial atmosphere.

�You need tough people who can go up against the Koreans who are trying to take over the sport all over the world,� he said.

�We hope that this new amalgamated body over east will be able to drive the sport forward.�