It is with great pleasure that we report the success of the 2019 European Championships and European Kup. It was the honour of Team Ireland to play hosts to so many of our Taekwon-do brothers and sisters from across the continent. The event was held in Neptune stadium, Cork and took place from July 24th to 28th. However, competitors had begun to arrive in Cork from the previous week, eager to see all our beautiful city has to offer. In spite of very dubious weather, all would happily report that they hoped to return in the future.

It was remarked by many how smoothly events ran and how well organised everyone was. This was in no small part due to the dedication of the organising committee. ITF was represented at the event by the welcome presence of GM Trevor Nicholls. The tournament itself was run by Tournament Director Master Ruairi O’Brien, Chief Umpire Master Fernando Perez and a large team of Irish and International umpires. This team met with Master Perez several times throughout the course of the week to discuss updates to policy, make suggestions and to have morning coffee!

Without Taekwon-Do, one would rarely experience such a spirit of camaraderie as is felt in  competition and this instance was no exception. Language proved no barrier as common ground was already found. The atmosphere of friendship and cooperation was obvious throughout the week.  New friends were made, old ones reunited and impending visits were planned.  Tuls evident of years of dedicated training were watched eagerly and technique was perfected. Roars from supporters cheered on their country, as competitors fought hard for their place on the podium. Red and Blue kept nervous eyes on the screen, hoping to see a decision in their favour. Experienced Black belts and first aid officials calmly oversaw the destruction sections, especially Power Break.  Young and old alike, delighted in the friendly competition between nations and were proud to shake each other’s hands when it was all over, win or lose.

The amazing talent on display will be long remembered, particularly in the Junior events, with many new names emerging to be watched for the future.

Congratulations especially to Team UK on winning best overall country and Vanessa Sallai of Team UK on winning the Best Competitor award.

The European Kup proved to be a great success. The amount of help and assistance offered for the day was unprecedented and very much appreciated. Our Colour Belt competitors did themselves and their instructors proud and gained much experience in a safe, friendly setting.

The European Championships 2019 has come to a close and will hold wonderful memories. Changes to procedure was discussed, new rulings were applied.  Wins were celebrated and losses commiserated at the after party on Sunday night, held in Collins’ Army Barracks. People learned how to pronounce complicated Irish names. There was even a heart-warming proposal from the podium that brought tears to many eyes. Our heartiest of congratulations to Martin and Jennifer of Team Netherlands.  

The organisers would like to thank the ITF and all attendees for their valued support as, without it, this event would not have been such a resounding success.  Thank you for your participation and your friendship. Go raibh mile maith agat.   Taekwon