Over the weekend Aotearoa Taekwondo Te Puke entered the under 13-year-old Southside Rumble Taekwondo Championships held in Auckland, run by Active Pride, with more than 80 juniors attending.
This was a development tournament where our youth were able to experience first hand what taekwondo competition was all about and even first time fighters could come and learn.
Some of the proceeds went to help fund two of our senior national champions to the world taekwondo championships held in Mexico later this month.
Aotearoa Taekwondo Te Puke's team of six did exceptionally well. Lakshya Dhillon was unwell on the day of competition but showing up at the tournament for Lakshya was an achievement in itself. It showed courage and great heart and Dhillon went on to win silver. Awesome stuff.
Emma Kendrick had two Sunday trainings under her belt and did enough to stay in the game using what she was taught. Emma found her range and used it to her advantage, winning her first fight and going into her final bout she took the early lead and had to dig deep and really take it to her opponent. In the dying seconds her opponent scraped in to take the 7-6 lead to win the fight, leaving Emma with a well-deserved silver medal.
Technical fighter of the day was Mahinarangi Wirihana who won her first two fights and in her third and final bout showed ultimate skill and that it does not matter what colour belt you are, as long as you follow instructions from your coach and deliver exactly what is asked of you. With her eyes on the prize and not the scoreboard, Mahinarangi went on to win gold.
Aotearoa Taekwondo would like to thank Phillip and Paula at Spreadmasters for their wonderful support and ongoing help with the club, and to the parents who supported us at the tournament.
Gold: Blake Ward, Maanauri Wilson, Mahinarangi Wirihana.
Silver: Parekotuku Williams, Laksyha Dhillon, Emma Kendrick.