Fiesty WA Veterans going for gold at 2018 ITF Taekwon-Do World Championships
SOME say age is just a number. A group of martial artists from Perth definitely agree.
Four veteran Taekwon-Do practitioners, aged from 53 to 73, will be representing Australia at the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) World Championships in Belarus in August this year. More than 700 competitors from 60 countries are expected to participate in this event.
These four exponents are members of the Low Taekwon-Do Academy in Perth's hills region, and have been training together for close to 30 years under 9th Dan Grand Master Low Ming Tuck. The "baby" of this group is WATM’s APAC Business Development Manager, Patrick Ng. Patrick started training in Taekwon-Do aged 10 in Malaysia. While there were many gap years in his training due to study, work and family commitments, the passion for Taekwon-Do never left him. In the early 1990s, out of pure coincidence, he reconnected with the art when he found the son of his first instructor living and teaching here in Perth.
As a veteran practitioner, Patrick has won titles at club, State and national levels. His forte is in Taekwon-Do patterns or "Tuls". At the grueling National Selections in Sydney in December 2017, Patrick - together with his veteran colleagues from Perth - was chosen to represent Australia in Belarus later this year.
"I was selected for the Australian team in the 2016 World Junior and Veteran Championships in Italy but had to withdraw unfortunately," Patrick said.
"I am therefore grateful to be given a second chance to represent Australia and hope to do my team instructors, team-mates and the country proud in Belarus. I just need to keep training and stay injury-free.”
ITF Taekwon-Do is a Korean martial art practiced throughout the world. At a competitive level, Taekwon-Do is an amateur sport and competitors cover all their own costs to train for and compete at the World Championships. Patrick is seeking financial support from companies and individuals to help defray the cost of return airfares and accommodation for the upcoming Championships. More details on how to donate can be found at a dedicated GoFundMe page called Oldies at TKD Champs, Belarus 2018.
The current Australian team consists of 17 competitors, which consists of 10 veterans and seven juniors. Eleven team members are from Western Australia. WA has a reason to be proud of this national team; the youngest junior (Kelsie Williams at 14) and the oldest veteran (Ian Green at 73) are both from the State. The team's two coaches are also from WA: 7th Dan Master Jason Bradley and 5th Dan International Instructor Justin Low.
WA’s veteran competitors heading to the 2018 World Taekwon-Do Championships in Belarus this August are, from left: Ian Green, Leanne Searle, Patricia McQueen and Patrick Ng.