A strong team of 7 British players landed in Turkey on 2nd February ahead of the 2019 World Para-Taekwondo Championships.
Both the Poomsae and Kyrougi Teams are flying the flag for Great Britain at the Championships, with Poomsae being led by Head Coach Gemma Biescas, supported by Para-Coaches, Russell Watkinson and Terry Cooper.
Poomsae players include Bradley Brockies (P20 Junior Male) who has hit the Taekwondo world by storm and hopes to defend his current World title. World bronze and European silver medallist Rajinder Chatha (P20 + 31M) also takes a place, with Benjamin Savage (P20 U30M), Gabrielle Toas (P20 U30F) and Kieran Wroe (P20 Junior Male), all making their international debuts in the P20 class.
The remainder of the team includes Lewis Currie (P30 Male) and Samantha Carrington, the current World Champion (P33 Female).
Two days of intense preparation are on the cards to finalise preparations for the fierce competition to start on Tuesday 5th February.
Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive of the UK Sports Association says “It’s a real pleasure working with British Taekwondo and supporting them as they develop a performance pathway for players with intellectual disability. The P20 class is really coming into its own. The hard work from the players together with the dedication shown by Gemma, Russell and Terry in supporting them is a credit to the sport and how they they wish to see players with intellectual impairment on the international stage”.
“I wish them the best of luck at the World Para-Championships and look forward to seeing some British success!”
Newly appointed British Taekwondo President, Sarah Stevenson-Jennings will be attending the Championships to support the Poomsae and Kyrougi players.
The P20 class is for players with intellectual impairment. The P30 class if for players with cerebral palsy.
The World Para Taekwondo Championships takes place in Antalya, Turkey on 5th and 6th February.
Taekwondo is one of two sports making its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The 2020 Games programme will include Kyrougi only, which doesn’t currently include players with intellectual impairment.
Poomsae for players with intellectual impairment is not part of the Paralympic programme. Taekwondo has been included as an exhibition sport (Poomsae) at the 2019 Inas Global Games. The Global Games will be hosted in Brisbane, Australia in October 2019.
Meet the P20 Poomsae Players
Bradley Brockies – P20 Junior Male
Bradley Brockies is 14 years old. He’s been doing Taekwondo at Yong Gi Taekwondo club for 6 years and is the current world and European Champion. Bradley is a 2nd Poom black belt. This will be Bradleys third time representing Great Britain at international level.
Kieran Wroe – P20 Junior Male
Kieran is 12 years old. He’sbeen training with KBBA Taekwondo club for 6 years. Kieran enjoys Taekwondo, fitness and being active. This is his first World Championships and GB debut.
Ben Savage – P20 U30 Male
Ben is 19 years old. He has been part of the GB Para Poomsae Squad for the past 5 years, but is making his international debut in the P20 class. Ben is a 2nd Dan Black Belt at Unite Taekwondo Club in Southport where he started when he was 14 years old.
Gabrielle Toas – P20 U30 Female
Gabrielle will be celebrating her 18th birthday by competing for Great Britain at the Para World Championships. Gabrielle is a black belt and trains at the Chi Taekwondo in Spennymoor. This is Gabielle’s first major championships.
Rajinder Chatha – P20 +31 Male
Rajinder has been a member of the London Taekwondo Academy for 25 years. Rajinder won bronze at the 2017 World Championships and silver at the European Championships.
Photos courtesy of British Taekwondo