GB Taekwondo athletes launch "Battle4Brazil" campaign
GB Taekwondo Olympic athletes Jade Jones, Lutalo Muhammad and Sarah Stevenson were amongst the elite Taekwondo players who today launched the first talent identification programme following the success of London 2012 in the build-up to Rio 2016.
In conjunction with UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport, GB Taekwondo has launched Fighting Chance: Battle4Brazil, a nationwide talent identification programme. The programme is aimed at high achieving 16-26-year-old male and female combat athletes from all kick based martial arts who believe they are capable of transferring to Olympic Taekwondo (WTF style) and making an impact on the medal table in 2016.
The success of Jades Jones (gold) and Lutalo Muhammad (bronze) at London 2012 has catapulted the sport of Taekwondo in Britain into a realm of unprecedented participation and interest. Since the conclusion of the Games, the team at British Taekwondo have spent countless hours conducting extensive research and results suggest that clubs around the country are being inundated. To be exact, there has been a 20% increase in membership and a near 50% increase in participation. Figures that enthused Adrian Tranter, President of British Taekwondo: “It’s everything I wished for. It’s like having Christmas, your birthday and everything at once. It’s just been an amazing summer culminating in more people doing more sport more often!”
But even with these numbers on hand, GB Taekwondo and the UK Talent Team remain convinced that there are athletes not currently involved in Olympic Taekwondo (WTF) who are capable of challenging for positions in the national team. Recent rule changes increasing points scored for kicks to the head will further enhance the opportunity for talent transfer.
GB Taekwondo Performance Director Gary Hall commented on the launch of the programme: “The original Fighting Chance talent identification campaign in 2009 was very successful for athletes to complement the talented juniors we were already developing. The new Fighting Chance: Battle4Brazil campaign should help us build on the successes we have had so far and reach wider audiences. The success we achieved in London was incredible but we are not resting on our laurels, there is more talent out there to discover.”
Since 2007, the UK Talent Team has worked in partnership with 20 Olympic and Paralympic sports and over 100 World Class coaches; run seven National athlete recruitment campaigns, and assessed over 7,000 athletes. These projects have resulted in over 100 athletes selected by sports into the World Class system with 293 international appearances made and a total of 102 international medals won.
Twelve identified athletes from the campaigns represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, including rower Helen Glover, who was part of the crew which won Team GB’s first gold medal of the Games and Taekwondo player Lutalo Muhammad, who won Olympic bronze.
The application process is online and further information can be found at: www.uksport.gov.uk/talent, with the application process closing on Monday 14 January 2013.
Source: GB Taekwondo