DESPITE the turmoil and uncertainty over the last 19 months, Lyme Regis Taekwondo Club has come out on top.
The club has had to continuously adapt its training due to rules and restrictions, but has still managed to gain 25 new students since lockdown was eased earlier this year.
The club has had three successful gradings, with a 7th Dan Instructor from Lyme’s sister club in Bournemouth carrying out the grading, one of them via video conferencing app Zoom, a new and odd concept which threw up its own challenges).
In late November, the Lyme club took two students to Worcester to the National Taekwondo Poomsae competition.
Dexter Weldin, in only his second face-to-face competition received gold and became a national champion in the Para P40 category and achieved a personal best score, which was an extra bonus, especially as he is only nine years old.
Amelia Cole, aged 13, in her first competition took part individually as well as part of a trio, with two other girls who only met each other at the competition.
Amelia came away with a silver medal in the syncro team with the girls, with a score only a few points behind the first place team. This was a huge achievement.
It was a very successful weekend with the Lyme’s sister club, Dorset Taekwondo, also competing and gaining six medals.
A week later, seven students from Lyme Regis went to Bournemouth for a large grading. Amelia and 15-year-old Dan Barton have been waiting one and half years to take their gradings, having had three cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.
Finally they got their day, joined by Filipe, a black belt who joined the club at the end of 2019.
Instructor Sharon Ward said: “It has been a tough time for them to keep training and motivated but they made me incredibly proud.”
Amelia is now a 1st Dan black belt and Dan and Filipe are 2nd Dan black belts.
To round off the year Dexter has successfully re-secured his place in the GB Para Poomsae squad for 2022. He has spent the last 19 months training via Zoom every month with the GB squad coaches and joins three others from Lyme’s sister club in Bournemouth who gained places.
Dorset Taekwondo (Lyme & Bournemouth) has a total of four places in the 2022 team, including Master Sharon’s own instructor, Master Darren Naraine.
Sharon said: “I am extremely proud of the club, which will be 17 years old when it returns in January 2022.”
The club is for anyone from five years old to adults. For details contact club instructor Sharon on firstname.lastname@example.org