Dunedin club benefits from traditional coaching

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Podium finish . . . Dunedin Taekwondo Club members celebrate after winning 18 medals at the Hyeon Mu Taekwondo New Zealand Open in Christchurch earlier this month. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Having an experienced coach has helped Dunedin Taekwondo Club athletes become big winners at a recent competition.

Seven students, who ranged in age from 9 years old to late-20s, took part in the Hyeon Mu Taekwondo New Zealand Open in Christchurch on August 3.

Altogether, they won 16 gold medals, one silver and one bronze, and coach Andrew Jeon was awarded the best black belt male poomsae award.

Dunedin Taekwondo Club member Newton Sythong stands on the podium after winning a gold medal for best poomsae.

Milan Jeon, who attended with the club to help supervise, said most of the taekwondo clubs from around the South Island competed in the tournament.

Since taekwondo was a Korean sport, having a Korean coach helped give the Dunedin athletes an edge over their competitors, she said.

“Our students were lucky because they learnt in the most traditional way possible.

“I think the judges were able to notice that difference.”

It was the first competition for the new club, which was formed about a year ago by Jeon’s parents.

Her uncle, Andrew, moved to Dunedin recently and took on a coaching role.

Dunedin Taekwondo Club coach Andrew Jeon holds the award he won for the best black belt male poomsae.

He is a seventh dan black belt and has been training for about 35 years, including at his own club in Korea.

“He’s worked very hard to get to where he is now.

“I think the students get all the benefits of that.”