Great Britain proved it has promise at all age groups after enjoying an encouraging showing at the second-ever European Cadet Championships. The three-day tournament attracted thirty-eight countries from all over Europe demonstrating the remarkable growth within the cadet scene since the tournament’s conception in 2005. Participating athletes were aged between eleven and fourteen with the British team containing a number of athletes who were competing at European level for the first time.
Star of the show was thirteen year-old Sophie Dickson (Lightening Taekwondo Club, Liverpool) who won a bronze medal at her weight of +59Kg. Dickson showed concentration and focus beyond her years when defeating some tough competitors en-route to her medal. Dickson commented:
“I am so happy to have won a medal in a competition like this. I was a bit nervous to come away to Hungary and compete against some of the top cadets in the world but once I got here and started winning it all seemed to go right for me. I really hope this is the start of something special for me and one day I dream of becoming an Olympic champion.”
Joanna Wray, Programme Manager for the BTCB Sport Taekwondo UK Ltd, added: “I am very proud of the whole team and the way in which they represented their country, in most cases for the first time. There is certainly a great deal of promise within this squad and I think that in years to come we could see some of these youngsters doing very well indeed. With the knowledge that London will be hosting the Olympic Games in 2012 it gives young athletes the added incentive to work hard”.
Gary Hall Performance Director for BTCB Sport Taekwondo UK Ltd, commented: “This is the first time we have had the opportunity to support this age group and expose them to international competition through the support of Sport Aid. We had a number of training camps before the event and it has proven to be a good start. Our aim is to focus on this area more in years to come as they are the champions of the future.”
The senior Great Britain Taekwondo Team is now focusing on the forthcoming Olympic Qualification Event which takes place at the MEN Arena in Manchester from 28th-30th September. The World Taekwondo Qualification Event for the Beijing Olympic Games, will be the largest ever Taekwondo event ever held in Great Britain and will see four competitors from each weight category qualify for next summer’s sporting extravaganza.