South Dublin Taekwondo

Author Archives: Robert Taaffe


Stars shine bright at The Echo’s 10th annual Sports Awards Night

Stars shine bright at The Echo’s 10th annual Sports Awards Night

Visit the Echo Website Here

TALLAGHT Athletic Club’s Rhasidat Adeleke was crowned ‘Sports Star of the Year’ at The Echo 2018 Amateur Sports Awards held in the Green Isle Hotel on Thursday night.

Running in partnership with South Dublin County Council, the Green Isle Hotel and South Dublin County Sports Partnership, The Echo Sports Awards was celebrating its tenth year.Sixteen-year-old Adeleke scooped the top accolade following a tremendous season that saw her win gold in the European Under 18 200m Championships in Hungary as well as helping the Ireland Women’s 4x100m Relay team to silver at the World Under20 Championships in Finland a week later.Glenanne Men’s Hockey Team were declared ‘Team of the Year’ after securing a return to Europe when they won the EY Hockey League before also reaching the Champions Trophy Final.

Indeed, it was a great night for hockey with Ireland Women’s Team boss, Graham Shaw, picking up ‘The Echo Coach of the Year’ trophy after leading his team to an amazing silver medal at the World Cup in London in the summer.

What’s more, three of that very team, Hannah Matthews, Nicci Daly and Ali Meeke, who all play with Loreto Hockey Club, were honoured with ‘Sports Leading Light’ Awards as was St Mary’s Boxing Club’s recently-crowned World Women’s Lightweight champion, Kellie Harrington and two members of Ireland Homeless World Cup Soccer Team, Anthony Madden and Kenneth Kinsella who helped their nation to the Telmex Trophy in Mexico.

Following a year in which they bagged a number of major honours in the Leinster Senior League and schoolboy soccer, Crumlin United FC picked up the ‘Club of the Year’ Award while South Dublin Taekwondo, home of Olympic hopeful Jack Woolley, were rewarded for the opening of their new training facility in Tallaght and the huge progression of many of their members with the ‘2018 Club Development’ Award.

‘The Echo Emerging Athlete of the Year’ trophy was won by Tallaght and National Centre swimmer Niamh Coyneafter a superb season that featured a silver medal in the Youth Olympic Games 100m Breaststroke in Argentina.

Kilnamanagh AFC’s Paddy Ennis was declared ‘Sports Volunteer of the Year’ after near to 40 years of service with his club while Stuart McEvoy’s superb achievements with the Shamrock Rovers and Ireland Amputee teams were recognised with the inaugural ‘Sports Challenge’ Award.

The night also saw The Echo and its partners pay tribute to two past heroes of Dublin GAA as former Blues and Thomas Davis senior footballer Paul Curran together with nine-time All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship winner, Betty ‘Gerry’ Hughes were inducted into The Echo Sports Hall of Fame.


For full coverage of the night visit our Instagram and Twitter accounts or pick up next Thursday’s edition for a 12-page feature on The Echo 2018 Sport Awards.


Korean Ambassadors Cup 2018

image1.jpegThe 6th Korean Ambassadors Cup was held in Gormanstown Park, Co. Meath last weekend which was the last Olympic Taekwondo Event of the year. Tallaght’s South Dublin Taekwondo Club fielded a diverse team of 29 athletes of grass roots beginners up to international elite athletes at the event which catered for all levels. The event which is the biggest event in the Irish Taekwondo Calendar is supported by the Korean Embassy in Ireland and was attended by the Korean Ambassador to Ireland Woon-Ki Lyeo and also Olympic Federation of Ireland CEO Peter Sherrard. The event now in its 6th year was a platform for many of SDTKD’s beginners to have their first competitive experience, most notably twin sisters Éabha & Caoimhe de Búrca who were entered in 2 consecutive weight classes to keep them apart. The 8 year olds were both gold medalists in the -28kg & -32kg divisions respectively. Both youngsters came from SDTKD’s Taekowndo Tots programme where they trained since they were 4 years old and now are beginning to make an impact in full taekwondo. Another peewee first timer who reached the top of the podium was Tyler Waters who won his +36kg division. A debutante performance of note also came from  Lisabeth Mahesh who appears to be one to watch. The 12 year old won her -51kg Cadet female division with high points scoring on her first outing using the electronic scoring systems used by Taekwondo Ireland at the event. The beginners & intermediate athletes were delighted to attend an event with many of SDTKD’s more experienced athletes. Irish Team Players & World Ranking Event Gold Medalists  David Phelan & Lauren Farrell gave a great example to their team mates by securing golds in their Junior divisions with clinical performances. SDTKD Club were delighted to top the medal count once again in overall stadings which is their 6th time in the 6th Year existence of the event. Club Coach Anas Belmaati who led the team at the event was delighted that his young son Adam [7] got hios first taste of competition  noted, ‘SDTKD Club are ten years old now, we entered strong teams to the 2 most prestigious events in Ireland this year, the Korean Ambassadors Cup & Irish National Championships. We are delighted that in our 10th year our team is now once again Irish National Champions & have topped the medal count for the Korean Ambassadors Cup for the 6th consecutive year. Our athletes & coaches have had a very busy year, and it was a great way to finish up, with many of these athletes changing categories from the beginning of next year. Our children & peewees really shone today, without them we would not have been so successful overall.’ SDTKD continue to train over the Christmas period and are looking forwad to welcoming some new recruits to their Club in January where they plan to develop the next generation of local taekwondo enthusiasts.


Cadet Euros Medal For Emma Cahill

Major European Medal for Cahill 
One of Ireland’s up and coming stars Emma Cahill found her way to the podium of the European Cadets Taekwondo Championships in Marina D’or, Spain last week. The 12 year old from South Dublin Taekwondo Club [Originally from Baldoyle TKD] made her Irish Team debut in the -37kg female division in outstanding form. image1.pngWith a tough first round draw against Russian Victoria Pantrkova Emma had a strong start winning 14-3. In her second round she was up against Diana Krush of Ukraine who she defeated 18-5. This led to a quarter final encounter against one of the top contenders Aleyna Demir from Turkey which proved to be a spectacle of dynamic Taekwondo Emma just coming out on top 26-24. It was another Russian encounter for Emma in the semi finals as the Russian team had many wild cards to enter multiple athletes. This was Emma’s final match where she settled for bronze after a 0-5 defeat to Anna Titaernko.image2.jpeg This is Emma’s first year as a cadet and eligible for major championships. When she was in the younger kids divisions her father Stephen travelled all around Europe for many years giving Emma a fabulous start in competition where she gained a massive collection of accolades. Soon after moving up to cadet she secured national team eligibility after a string of fine performances at international world ranking events throughout 2018. image3.jpegOriginally from Baldoyle, Emma began training at SDTKD Club in 2016 making the journey throughout the week to train alongside SDTKD’s international team. Emma was joined at the event by SDTKD CLub mates Ryan Doyle & Jack Woolley. The former is an ITF Black Belt from Firhouse Taekwon-do who switched codes to Olympic Taekwondo a year ago, and managed to secure a national team place with his great kicking ability & height for his division. image4.jpegRyan unfortunately met the division favorite from Russia in his opening match and didn’t qualify for the later rounds. The latter Jack Woolley, usually a fighting team mate of the 2 Athletes this time left his uniform at home and made his national team coaching debut image5.jpegoverseeing the 2 youngsters and offering his abundance of ring experience. Jack had coached both on many occasions this year the day before or after his own important events. Also in Spain, the 2 SDTKD were joined by 5 other Irish team first timers. A further bronze was secured by Shannon Larkin from Champion Taekwondo Club (Blanchardstown) in the -29kg female division. South Dublin Taekwondo Head Coach & Irish Taekwondo Performance Director Robert Taaffe noted,image6.jpeg ‘This is a very exciting time for Olympic Taekwondo. These youngsters will be eligible for Paris 2024 and the next few years will be spent ensuring this group and those around them have the best chance to qualify.’

(more…)


French Open 2018

South Dublin Taekwondo’s Jack Woolley wrapped up his final ‘open event’ of the year traveling to the French Open ‘G2’. The double ranking point event attracted many of the worlds best fighters all hoping to secure much required Olympic Ranking points just one year away from the Olympic auto-qualification announcements. Currently sitting in an automatic qualifying spot and having already maxed his allowable Olympic Points for 2018, the event had other great importance for Woolley according to his strategic approach to Olympic qualification. Jack had a late start due to his seeding and a bye in the round of 64. Then in his first two matches in the rounds of 32 & round of 16 he set out his stall with devastating scoring knocking up over 100 points in 2 matches beating a duo of French opponents Alan Philippe & Falliou Hane 60-2 & 47-4 respectively. Jack proceeded to overcome Polish Mateusz Nowak 26-4 in the quarter final. With 3 matches under his belt all finished after just 2 of the 3 rounds due to ‘point gap’ Jack looked forward to s rematch with World Medalist – USA’s Damian Villa who Jack had beaten earlier this year in the final in Austria. Villa did not come out for the semi due to an injury sustained putting jack into the final with Spain’s Francisco Gonzalez Monilla. The Spaniard took an early 4-0 lead, which fired up Jack to fight his way back. Unfortunately the match ended 9-13 in favour if he Spaniard. The young Dubliner was disappointed feeling he deserved the gold after three strong head contacts did not register on the scoring system. This ended up as jacks 8th podium of the year at World Ranking events, one of the worlds highest ranking pound for pound taekwondo athletes. Jack was joined by one of his international coaches Anas Belmaati who coordinated from the coaches chair, before proceeding onto the United Arab Emirates to join Head Coach Robert Taaffe where he fights today (Thursday) in the Grand Prix Final where the top 16 in the world are invited to the final major of the year.
FINAL UPDATE
Paris Open G2 Update
Jack -58kg
R64 – Bye
R32 – 60-2 Win v FRA
R16 – 47-4 Win v FRA
QF – 26-4 Win v POL
SF -Win v USA(WDR)
Final – 9-13 Loss v ESP
SILVER
12 World Ranking Points

SDTKD Crowned National Champions 2018

Tallaght Leisure Centre was the venue for the 2018 Irish National Taekwondo Championships which showcased the best of Irish sparring talent in a spectacle of high paced & dynamic kicking. Local interests included Tallaght’s South Dublin Taekwondo Club. The event which was ‘open grade’ permitted athletes of any grade to compete together if their club coaches deemed the athletes ready for the Nationals. SDTKD Clubs selection process filtered its members down to a group of 22 athletes to enter in cadet, junior or senior divisions. After a spell of increased intensity training in preparation for the event, top honours and the prestigious title of Irish National Taekwndo Champion went to: Anas Belmaati, Cyrus Shirvani, Jack Woolley, Adam Nugent, David Phelan, Lauren Farrell, Emma Cahill, Ryan Doyle, Yousef Ayidi & Sean Byrne. On the 2nd tier of the podium, silver medals went to; Ben Nugent, Jed Rena, Saud Ayidi, Leroy Dilandu, Abby Gorman and Eoghan Gorman, and finally with bronzes awarded to; Sabrian Burke, Jaccqueline Rosales, Shauna Farrell, Eoin Rosales & Ibrahim Ayidi. On top of the individual National Titles, SDTKD Club were also crowned Irish National Champions.

Player of the Tournament for Nugent

Bobby Nugent wins ‘Player of The Tournament at the Belfast International  Open. Following in hsi familys footsteps, now trainig alongside his dad Alan, his brothers Adam & Ben, bobby was crowned ‘Player of the Tournament’ for his blistering display in the pee wee division.

2233.JPG

Olympians Visit SDTKD

Hankuk Taekwondo Madrid Visit Ireland
2737.JPGSDTKD were delighted to welcome Hankuk Taekwondo Madrid to train alonside the Irish Squad in a series of seminars in Dublin. The team were led by Doiuble Olympic Coach Jesus Ramal and London / Rio Olympian Suvi Mikkonen from Finalnd [who trains in Madrid]. The 2 taekwondo stars brought 15 of their top athletes from cadet to senior who demonstrated their fantastic kicking ability led by their charismatic coach Ramal. The long weekend included 3 seminars on Saturday; the first for children & cadets where the upcoming stars of the future rubbed shoulders with many Spanish National team athletes. Seminar 2 was for junior & senior in a high paced energetic session of Olympic Taekwondo. Saturday was wrapped up with a smaller elite training session for international athletes. On Sunday, the Spanish Visitors were special guests at the ITU National Squad training session which was composed of an afternoon of test matches on the latest version of Daedo Generation 2 PSS [Protective Scoring System], a valuable recent investment by the ITU. The Irish athletes said goodbye to the Spanish visitors on Monday, however Suvi & Jesus stayed on through the week for a holding camp with Jack Woolley in advance of the following weekends Manchester Grand Prix. ‘Jack has visited Madrid many times for valuable camps over recent years, and it was a pleasure to have such a large contingent of the Hankuk come to visit Ireland’,

New Home for SDTKD

image1.pngSouth Dublin Taekwonodo Club, based in Tallaght, Dublin have just turned 10 years old. The clubs growth & development in their local area in Tallaght, Dublin has led to them pursuinig and securing a stand alone taekwondo premises in the Area. ‘South Dublin Martial Arts & Fitness Centre‘ Opened its doors for the first time at the Start of October. The club decided to look for a new smaller home to assist offer their members greater training options & opportunities, with greater attention to detail and ensure their High Performance athletes needs were being fulfilled to their full potential. The process was a lengthy endevour. Since 2013 SDTKD have viewed many premises, and almost signed leases with various landlords, but when the final detail of leases, planning & design was considered the Club Head Coach Robert Taaffe put the brakes on as he was not fully satisfied with arrangements, the current use & the locations and feedback from surveys conducted and local case studies on shortliested venues. ‘We have been holding tight for quite some time until a venue presentred itself that suited our needs best. Location was paramount, our new venue is 5 minutes from our previous HQ in Tallaght Leisure Centre which is convenient for all of our existing members, and it is within a shopping mall at The Arena Tallaght which is secure and safe for our members. Any building needed to be futureproofed, and our new venue with 7m high ceilings offers us future expansion space for club planning projections.’, noted Taaffe.  (more…)


New Black Belts 2018

South Dublin Taekwondo Club has 8 new black belt ranks at its club after a successful grading with under the Irish Taekwondo Union last weekend. The team of candidates were put through their paces by Korean Grandmaster Ji-Pyo Lim, a world renound Taekwondo practitioner.
The grading was composed of the dynamic sport taekwondo elements which are widely known from media exposure, and also included traditional taekwondo elements including movements, forms, self defense & breaking. The new ranks at the club include; Saluman Ayidi, Saud Ayidi & Mariusz Malecki who all passed to first Dan black belt, Adam Nugent achieved 2nd Dan, Abby Gorman & Lauren Farrell both earned 3rd Dans, Jack Woolley graded to 4th Dan and Club Head Coach Robert Taaffe secured his 6th Dan. Coach Taaffe noted, ‘Today was a special day, it was a privilege to test alongside my own students in our new club. Jack achieved 4th Dan, a massive milestone in Taekwondo. He now has title of ‘Master’ but I think he mastered this sport many years ago.’


Taipei Grand Prix 2018

Jack Woolley departed Poland  Monday to head home to change luggage before his flight to Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) on Monday. After securing his World Ranking gold the weekend previous he attended the Grand Prix Series 3 in Taoyuan, Taiwan along with 31 of the other top players in the world. Jack drew Puerto Rico’s Joan Nunez in his opener. Closing the match by point gap 26-6 the match finished early.
This led to a round of 16 rematch against the Rio #1 Seed Rui Braganca of Portugal. Earlier this year Woolley shocked the taekwondo world by beating well rebound European & World Medalist at the Rome Grand Prix, his most substantial win to date. Jack reconfirmed his authority and won again 21-20 leading to a quarter final with Russias’s Mikhail Artamanov, current European Champion & World silver medalist. The match ended 8-8 with Jack slowing his usual attacking approach to combat the patience of the Russian. In the final overtime ‘Golden Round’ with both athletes landing kicks, the Russian registered first, leaving jack to settle for a 5th Place.
Jacks Coach Robert Taaffe noted, ‘Its the 4th time he faced the Russian, we haven’t hit the win yet. But today he stood toe to toe and we were unlucky not to get a punch scored in the last round’ He proved himself today again. Jacks grandmother passed away sadly last weekend when we competed in Poland. She was probably his number one supporter. He did her very proud this past week.’