Taekwondo tournament a success

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It was a busy day at the Community Recreation Centre as the Whitestone Taekwondo Club hosted its first national tournament in eight years last Saturday.

Club instructors Bernie Miller, Darryl Johnston, Vanessa Gough and Jeff Spillane were the main organisers of the tournament.

Fourteen clubs from across New Zealand came to Oamaru to compete in the event.

Invercargill’s Se Jong Taekwondo led all clubs with 17 gold, six silver and three bronze medals.

Miller said he had received good feedback from every club that attended the tournament. One club master said it was the best tournament he had attended.

Everything went to plan, Miller said.

“It was more or less run by the minute. Oamaru has always been known for good tournaments.”

Various taekwondo masters attended the event.

The hardest part of running the tournament was organising the draws between fighters, Miller said.

“When you’ve only got 127 fighters and you’ve got so many sections, we had a lot of people that were on their own, so we had to combine sections to get people to fight.”

Following the success of this year’s tournament, Miller was keen for his club to host another tournament next year.

“As head instructor, I’m highly in favour of it.”

He thanked the parents and students of the Whitestone club for putting hard work into helping the tournament.

“Whitestone are very, very lucky with the strength we have from a lot of our parents to be able to run a tournament like that, because without them it couldn’t happen.”