Taekwondo is a great sport and a great discipline. It can be practised and enjoyed at any age, as the Absolute Taekwondo Club in Dunleer can testify.
The club has two national champions, Rossa McGlynn and Jordan Carragher, both from Togher.
Along with Andy Power, Dunleer, a runner-up in the national championships, and Fiachra Taafe, Dundalk, they hope to form a team that will take part in the Swedish Open in February.
The club has organised a fundraiser to help send these club members to this prestigious international championship.
It’s a table quiz which will be held at Shearman’s Dunleer at 9pm this Thursday 15 December.
Absolute Taekwondo has 60 members and three instructors, and they meet at the Lannleirre Pavilion.
Everybody is covered by insurance and the instructors have full first aid training.
The instructors are: Barry Flanagan, Assistant Instructor; Fiona Kelly, Second Dan Black Belt; Andrew McGuinness First Dan.
“The members range from five to 60,” according to Fiona Kelly.
“It’s great exercise, and for the kids it’s great discipline and gives them self-confidence.”
And for children who may have been bullied at school, this is a skill they can develop which gives them the confidence to know that they can stand up against bullying, even thought they are instructed not to use their skills outside the practice sessions.
All the club members train every Tuesday from 7pm to 8pm.
Then on Thursdays the juniors train from 6.15 to 7.45 and the teenagers and seniors from 7.45 to 9pm.
And on Saturdays they all have a session from 10.30am to 12 noon.
“We have monthly competitions with other clubs,” said Barry Flanagan.
“Meath and Fingal also run competitions and then at the National Championships in November, we had two winners in Rossa and Jordan with Andy a runner-up.”
Andy also trains with the national team.
Abolsute Taekwando Dunleer is registered with the Irish Taekwondo Union and the Irish Sports Council.
It is also affiliated to Women in Sport Ireland, the Olympic Council of Ireland, the European Taekwondo Union, the World Taekwondo Federation, and Kukkiwon, the Korean-based world headquarters of taekwondo.
So the club’s current aim is to send Rossa, Jordan, Andy and Fiachra to Sweden in February.
They will travel with their parents and instructors.
The party will pay for their own travel and accommodation expenses but some help will be required and that’s where the public comes in.
By supporting this Thursday’s table quiz at Sherman’s Dunleer, you will be helping these young people achieve the goal of a lifetime, and money will also go towards gym equipment.