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Taekwondo

Walkden and Cook urging Britain's cooped-up kids to take up taekwondo as restrictions ease – Yahoo Movies Canada

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Taekwondo clubs are the perfect place for children to get active after lockdown, reckon Walkden and Cook

Taekwondo clubs are the perfect place for children to get active after lockdown, reckon Walkden and Cook

Britain’s buzzing taekwondo scene is the perfect place for cooped-up kids to get their much-needed fix of physical activity as lockdown restrictions ease.

And the Martial Art turned Olympic Sport’s multiple benefits including promoting respect, combating bullying and championing mental health meaning there’s no better way to get back moving in the post-pandemic world.

That’s the message coming from three-time world champion Bianca Walkden and triple European king Aaron Cook, who are urging children and families to give taekwondo a go as lockdown rules are lifted.

Walkden is gunning for Olympic gold this summer while Cook, her boyfriend of 14 years, harbours similar ambitions for his adopted Moldova after switching from British citizenship in 2015.

The couple are acutely aware of exactly what makes taekwondo special and are encouraging parents to get their children to local clubs in need of vital support after lockdown.

Walkden, 29, said: “Taekwondo is such a well-rounded sport to get life skills from – and it’s also so enjoyable at the same time.

“It’s really fun – parents should let their kids go crazy, come in and try some different kicks. Every kid likes to be loud, scream, have some fun, learn some cool tricks – and they will fall in love with the sport.

“Taekwondo teaches you discipline, self-control, self-belief and gives you so much confidence.

“You get so many opportunities from taekwondo – it teaches you things you don’t really realise until you’re older.

“It teaches you things such as confidence, finding yourself and respect – you learn all these life skills that are so important.

“It’s definitely a life-changing sport for [me and Aaron] – and it’s enjoyable along the way.”

Cook, a two-time World Championship bronze medallist, added: “All I’ve ever known is taekwondo.

“I started it at such a young age and absolutely fell in love with it from the second I started.

“There are so many different elements to taekwondo, which is what makes it great.

“There’s so much to it – even now doing it over 25 years, having mastered all the techniques there’s still always so much to learn, which is brilliant. It keeps us engaged.

“It’s taken [me and Bianca] around the world and has definitely shaped us into the human beings we are today.”

Taekwondo teaches key life skills such as character building, respect and sociability and uses every part of the body in a balanced way to develop coordination and awareness in conjunction.

And the action-packed Martial Art also plays a crucial role in enhancing mental health and increasing confidence, self-esteem, focus, concentration and self-discipline through its inherently fun nature.

Enjoyment is front and centre of taekwondo and the sport is also vital for combatting bullying and aiding conflict resolution.

Walkden and Cook, 30, live, sleep and breathe taekwondo and have been running a few online sessions throughout the pandemic.

Taekwondo has multiple benefits including promoting mental health, resilience and combating bullyingTaekwondo has multiple benefits including promoting mental health, resilience and combating bullying

Taekwondo has multiple benefits including promoting mental health, resilience and combating bullying

Both hailed the sport’s resilience-enhancing role and admit they can’t wait to see children back on the mat when normality eventually returns.

Walkden, also a two-time European champion, said: “Taekwondo has definitely taught me how mentally strong I am.

“I’ve had to go through some tough times and obstacles, but taekwondo has helped me become the person I am today.

“Taekwondo has taught me valuable life lessons – to keep picking yourself up to keep trying and going after what I want. It’s definitely made me the person I am today.”

And Cook added: “There’s been hiccups and really, really hard moments in both of our careers – but taekwondo has taught us to keep persevering, persisting and always trying to get better.

“Hopefully we’re not too long away now and the clubs can get all their athletes back and start training again – I bet they can’t wait.”

With the easing of lockdown restrictions, Taekwondo clubs the breadth of the country are re-opening and welcoming participants old and new. To find your local club visit: www.britishtaekwondo.org.uk/try-taekwondo/find-a-club

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Taekwondo

Rio veteran Alora banners taekwondo jins in Olympic qualifier – Philstar.com

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Joey Villar (Philstar.com) – May 14, 2021 – 3:40pm

MANILA, Philippines – Rio Olympics veteran Elaine Alora leads a crack, four-member Philippine taekwondo team seeking a berth or two in the Tokyo Games in July as they wage war in the Asian Qualification tournament slated May 21 and 22 in Amman, Jordan.

Alora — who copped a silver medal in this same event the country hosted five years ago to earn a spot to the 2016 Rio Olympics — along with Kurt Barbosa, Arven Alcantara and Pauline Lopez, will leave Friday night along with coaches Carlos Padilla V and Al Christian dela Cruz.

And they are bringing with them the country’s hopes of snaring more slots to the quadrennial event.

Kicking off the Filipinos’ campaign is Alcantara in the men’s -68kgs on Friday while Barbosa (men’s -58kgs), Lopez (women’s -56kgs) and Alora (women’s +73kg) follow suit the next day.

To qualify, they would need to finish in the top two.

If they do, they would join pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and 2016 Rio Olympics weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and rower Cris Nievarez in Tokyo.

National team coach Dindo Simpao is optimistic they could snatch at least two berths.

“We’re hoping for two slots, if not four,” said Simpao in the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Hour.

It will be the first time the national jins are seeing action in a real competition since raking in eight gold, nine silver and four bronze medals in topping the sport in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila.

“Mahirap nung unang mga araw nung pumasok kami sa bubble sa Calamba pero nakayanan naman. Equal footing tingin ko dyan kasi sigurado affected din sila ng pandemic,” said the 31-year-old Alora.

The team will return on May 25, and there is hope they would also bring with them Olympic tickets.

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Taekwondo

PH taekwondo jins seek Olympic berths in Jordan

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Pauline Lopez

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Four national taekwondo jins left for Amman, Jordan on Thursday, each one determined to book an Olympic berth when they compete in the Asian Qualification Tournament set May 21 to 22.

Elaine Alora, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, aims for a second shot at the Games when she joins Pauline Lopez, Kurt Barbosa and Arven Alcantara.

Alora will compete in the women’s +73kg division, Lopez in women’s -56kgs, and Barbosa and Alcantara in men’s -58kgs and -68kgs.

Accompanied by coaches Caloy Padilla and Dindo Simpao, the team hopes to catch the last bus with less than 10 weeks left before the Olympics scheduled July 23 to Aug. 8.

Only the top 2 athletes in each weight class will earn Olympic berths.

Simpao is confident of the team’s chances.

“We expect to earn a couple of tickets to the Olympics. If not four,” he said.

The athletes are raring to get back in competition after spending the last couple of months in rigorous training in a bubble camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

Lopez, who came close to earning an Olympic berth in 2016, said she’s more motivated now than ever.

 “I think I’ve had more experience over the last years and those experiences helped me where I am now,” said Lopez, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and 2018 Asian Games bronze winner.

“I’ve experienced Asian qualifying. I almost tasted getting there. I feel like I have nothing to lose and just give my best out there and hope that it will give me a chance to play in the Olympics.”

Alora, who is now competing in a heavier weight class compared to where she competed in the previous Olympics, said she focused on improving her power and speed to prepare for this meet.

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Taekwondo

PH taekwondo jins vie for Olympic berths – Manila Bulletin

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Pauline Lopez (MB File Photo)

Four national taekwondo jins leave for Amman, Jordan on Thursday night, May 13, as they seek Tokyo Olympic berths in the Asian Qualification Tournament set May 21 to 22.

Elaine Alora, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, aims for a second shot at the Games when she joins Pauline Lopez, Kurt Barbosa and Arven Alcantara.

Alora will compete in the women’s +73kg division, Lopez in women’s -56kgs, and Barbosa and Alcantara in men’s -58kgs and -68kgs.

Photo from PTA

Accompanied by coaches Caloy Padilla and Al Christian Dela Cruz, the team hopes to catch the last bus with less than 10 weeks left before the Olympics scheduled July 23 to Aug. 8.

The top 2 athletes in each weight class will earn Olympic berths.

Coach Dindo Simpao, who has been with the team during training, is confident of the team’s chances.

“We expect to earn a couple of tickets to the Olympics. If not four,” said Simpao during the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Hour guesting recently.

The athletes are raring to get back in competition after spending the last couple of months in rigorous training in a bubble camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

Lopez, who came close to earning an Olympic berth in 2016, said she has grown a lot entering this competition.

“I think I’ve had more experience over the last years and those experiences helped me where I am now,” said Lopez, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and 2018 Asian Games bronze winner.

“I’ve experienced Asian qualifying. I almost tasted getting there. I feel like I have nothing to lose and just give my best out there and hope that it will give me a chance to play in the Olympics.”

Alora, who is now competing in a heavier weight class compared to where she competed in the previous Olympics, said she focused on improving her power and speed to prepare for her rivals.

Though being sidelined for months due to quarantine restrictions, Alora believes other athletes abroad have also experienced similar predicaments brought by the pandemic.

“Marami ding affected na countries kaya feeling ko equal footing lang naman kaming mga magko-compete. Lahat kami dream makapag-compete sa Olympics, lahat kami gutom,” said Alora, who was the country’s flag bearer in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Games.



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