Dear ITF President G.M Choi Jung Hwa, Dear ITF Secretary General G.M Trevor Nicholls, Dear Everyone in the International Taekwon-Do Federation,


It is my pleasure to inform you all of the success of the recent New Zealand Special Needs Taekwon-Do combined with the Hawkes Bay International Taekwon-Do Federation Regional Championships. There was a total of 160+ competitors and a total of 18  black belt degree holders and supporters who helped to make this championships run smoothly.


It was held at Irongate Primary School, Flaxmere, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. This years championships was the biggest yet. There was a total of 350 spectators.

The events at the championships for the Special Needs involved Patterns, Team Patterns, Power Breaking and Special Technique (Jumping Front Snap Kick). I personally do not support sparring for Special Needs due to the higher possibility of injuries and health risks.

For the mainstream this year we had Patterns, Team Patterns, Team Sparring, Individual Open Sparring, Power Breaking and Special Technique (Jumping Front Snap Kick).

It was an excellent opening ceremony with each team coming out to the music holding their Regional sign.

In addition to the championships opening ceremony we were lucky enough to have Mr. Lee Hermansson attend from Broken Hill and Mr. Peter Macklin from Bundaberg (Both from Australia) to help out as umpires as required. It meant a lot that they attended in support as it would have been tough to manage the work load.

The opening ceremony began with a Special Needs Taekwon-Do first in the world wheel chair team pattern. It was amazing to see these guys in action. One comment from one of the wheel chair Special Needs TKD students was “I feel wanted, no one has ever cared for me and wanted to help me be a part of something before”. After their demonstration they were awarded GOLD medals which the whole audience was clapping with happiness. Shortly after this, the whole floor was covered by all Taekwon-Do practitioners with or without Special Needs doing the New Zealand Haka. The War haka were originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition, but haka are also performed for various reasons: for welcoming distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals.

An opening speech was given by myself (Ben) and the championships started 9.30am.

The Special Needs students demonstrated the true Taekwon-Do spirit in their events they took part in. The best overall Special Needs team was Fairhaven School. The overall Special Needs students with 4 gold was Tupuna Rangi (selected to go to England next year) who did extremely well. I was so proud of him so were his friends and family. “Leaving the championships I felt that everyone that attended the day won in their own ways because they all tried their best. Everyone showed the true spirit of a Taekwon-Do practitioner, the winners were humble and those that did not win were gracious.”- Ben Evans

The overall mainstream competitors were from Irongate School. Principal Faye Wooster and Team Manager Melissa Collins did a fantastic job in their support to seeing Irongate School win the cup (3rd time). The overall Champion of the mainstream for the Male was Grayson French and the overall female was Rahera Heke (Irongate School).Overall the standard of everyone at the championships was exceptionally high. Everyone did really well.

The main purpose of the championships is for all the regional suburbs of Hawke’s Bay International Taekwon-Do Federation (Hastings, Whakatu, Napier, Taradale, Flaxmere and Havelock North) to come together (both Mainstream and Special Needs), create new friends, compete against people who they do not train with, to have fun and to celebrate Taekwon-Do in ALL its glory.

“I love giving opportunity to all abilities, so I always ensure the Regional Championships is open for all to have a go. Majority of the teaching I do is voluntary and I try to support pupils at school programs the best I can. My main goal is to build my students strong so that when required one day, they will stand up for themselves in any given situation in life either Special Needs or mainstream students.”-Ben Evans

I’d like to thank everyone in HBITF for supporting this championships. My big thanks and gratitude goes to my partner Emily who did a lot of the background work as always.

I’d like to thank the ITF and President Choi Jung Hwa, for their support. Since the Hawke’s Bay Region has joined, the future has been extremely bright. I couldn’t thank them enough as I feel extremely happy and even more inspired to work harder for ITF and Special Needs Taekwon-Do. Without this kind of support network, I feel I could not move forward and become stronger. My region is young, we are vibrant, we shall continue blossoming, build more degree holders and leadership. I am extremely thankful to the ITF President Choi Jung Hwa and ITF Secretary General GM Trevor Nicholls. From my heart, Thank You again, see you next year July!!!




Ben Evans

HB ITF Regional Director

Special Needs Taekwon-Do Director