The ITF Taekwondo championships were held in Tauranga over the weekend. Teenager Frances Lloyd of Ngāpuhi hopes to secure a position in the New Zealand team for the world champs to be held in Ireland next year.
16-year-old Frances Lloyd sees herself as a real prospect in Taekwon-do for many years to come.
Frances Lloyd (Ngāpuhi) says, “I have been coming to nationals as long as I can remember because I've always supported my club and it's something that you can always look forward too.”
400 athletes are competing in the ITF championships. The ITF was founded in 1966 in Korea. Its mission is to promote the teaching of the sport.
Lloyd says, “There are two types of Taekwondo, WTF does the Olympics and ITF has a World Championships so there are two different types I've been looking into the Olympics one I think I'm always going to do this one because this is where I originate from.
In 1966 just nine countries were involved in the ITF. Today the sport is now taught in almost every country in the world and there are around 90 ITF schools here in NZ.
Aidan Campbell (Ngāti Porou) says, “It will good to grow the sport it's growing but we really want it to be known to high-performance NZ.”
Those here at this tournament are working towards the ITF championships which will be held in Ireland in October next year.