As part of the drive to get Liverpool active, the city council has partnered with ITF England Taekwon-Do to start a new programme with schools in the city, which will include weekly visits by Taekwon-Do instructors for pupils of all age groups.
The launch of the initiative coincides with the countdown to the upcoming European ITF Taekwon-Do Championships, which will be held at the Liverpool Echo Arena between 26th- 30th April 2017, where as many as 1,500 athletes from 37 countries are expected to compete.
The first school taking part in the programme is St Francis Xavier (SFX) Catholic College, which will begin classes on Saturday 11th February. A series of taster sessions took place on Thursday led by ITF Taekwon-Do instructor and current World & European Champion (Veteran,II dan) Darren Brinham, to show pupils what they can expect from this sport, which is one of the fastest growing martial arts in the world.
Taekwon-Do is particularly favoured by parents, as its benefits are both physical and mental.
Wayne Brown, President of ITF England, said: “Apart from the physical activity which all children need, Taekwon-Do has the added benefits of teaching the importance of respect for themselves and for others, the importance of trust and communication and the value of honesty, good manners, loyalty and collaboration.”
The new initiative supports the city’s ‘Fit For Me’ programme which aims to inspire people of all ages to get more active in order to have a positive impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
Councillor Tim Moore, Mayoral Lead for Sport, said: “Encouraging young people to get active is a key priority for the city council. Introducing Taekwon-Do sessions into schools is a great way to attract newcomers to the sport, help youngsters hone new skills and increase their fitness levels.
“It’s great timing as the city prepares to host the Taekwon-Do championships in April, and you never know, with these new lessons we may uncover some future sporting stars.”
Daniel Martin, the PE teacher at SFX Catholic College said: “Taekwon-Do offers a new and exciting opportunity for our pupils, that not only encourages participation in sporting activity but also helps instil respect, honesty and determination. These are all values we at SFX hold dear and aim to instil in our pupils.
“The initiative starting in the run up to the European Championships is an excellent opportunity to inspire young people to try Taekwon-Do and raise participation in a sport that offers both physiological and psychological benefits. Liverpool is a fantastic city with lots to offer in terms of major sporting events and it is great to see the organisers giving back to the city and providing opportunities to live a healthy active lifestyle.”
Darren Brinham, ITF England Taekwon-Do Communities Development Officer added: “It’s great that the city council, SFX and the other community groups have really gotten behind us on this initiative. I think together we can genuinely make a difference and – through Taekwon-Do – have a real impact on health, well-being, fitness and positivity for the people of Liverpool, whilst potentially sowing the seeds for the champions of the future.”