Motherwell to host European Taekwon-Do Championships

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Around 600 top competitors from all over Europe will descend on Motherwell’s Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility from October 22 to 25.

Competition will be intense at the European Taekwon-Do Championships, featuring 30 countries including a Scotland team with 52 members.

Event organiser and Scotland team manager John McIlvaney, who has had a taekwon-do school in Bellshill for 25 years, said: “It is terrific that such a prestigious event is coming to Motherwell.

“This will be the 30th staging of the Euros and the calibre of competitors there will be very impressive.

“We’ll have a lot of World and European champions coming across.

“We hope a lot of kids will come and watch and hopefully be inspired to take up taekwon-do.”

The 900-seat arena is expected to be packed for all four days of competition, featuring the five different taekwon-do categories of patterns; sparring; traditional sparring; power breaking and special technique.

There will be individual and team events for competitors aged 14 and over, with over 100 gold medals being handed out over the three days.

The podium being used at the championships is the same one utilised by the taekwon-do medallists at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

For anyone unfamiliar with the various disciplines, traditional sparring sees two people doing a choreographed set routine, power breaking involves contestants breaking four or five boards with their hands and feet and special technique features five jumping disciplines with a starting height of 2m 50cm.

North Lanarkshire Provost Jim Robertson will make the opening speech at the championships, backed up by a pipe band playing.

And the championships’ launch will be made even more memorable by nine-year-old GMAC Martial Arts student Lennon MacAvoy – who has cerebral palsy – cutting the ribbon on October 22.

“Lennon is greatly looking forward to his duties at the opening ceremony,” John said.

“Martial arts is for everybody, especially guys like Lennon.”

This month’s European Taekwon-Do Championships will represent the second time that Scotland has hosted the competition, which previously came to these shores when staged at Meadowbank in 2000.

Scotland was also the venue for the 1984 World Taekwon-Do Championships, which took place at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall.

Anyone wishing to buy tickets for the event can do so by searching ‘AETF’ online and going to the ITFEurope.org website.

Tickets providing entry for the whole week can be purchased for £30 each. Under-12s can gain free entry to see all four days of competition.

John said he would like to thank co-organiser David Condie and North Lanarkshire Council’s new chief executive Paul Jukes for their support.