It is shaping up as a big weekend for the Whitestone Taekwondo Club.
Nine fighters are set to compete in two competitions, the New Zealand United Taekwondo Association national tournament in Tauranga and the South Island championships in Invercargill.
Vanessa Gough (veterans), Destiny and Jed Jabagat (grade one) and Noah Jenkinson (grade six) will all make the trip north, while Joe Spillane (youth), Rico Mitchell (grade two), Paddy Spillane (grade 3) and William and Warren Padede (grade seven) are all bound for Invercargill.
Whitestone Taekwondo Club head instructor Bernie Miller expected both teams to bring home medals, but said the club’s fighters had not competed at tournament level for some time.
“We haven’t been to a tournament for a year, but the guys that are going to Tauranga, I would be surprised if they didn’t come back with three medals in the fighting.
“In Invercargill, I can’t see why all can’t medal. We’ve done a wee bit more to prepare this time than we have done in the past.”
He said South Island clubs were disadvantaged when they headed north due to the tournament schedule.
In the South Island, there were only one or two tournaments a year, while in the upper North Island, there was one every three to four weeks, and every six to eight weeks in the lower North Island.
Miller said the club hoped to compete in tournaments more frequently in the future.