Taekwondo group’s Olympic links

Members of Fleetwood Taekwondo Club.
Members of Fleetwood Taekwondo Club.

Fleetwood Taekwondo Club is settling well into its new base in the former Crescent Dance Centre building next to the North Euston Hotel

The group was previously based in premises on Dock Street but now has more room for practice sessions.

Chief instructor is Alan Bainbridge, who said: “Coming here is a lot better because of the space and the flooring.

“We are happy to be making use of a nice space which had been empty for quite a while.”

Sessions are held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm onwards.

The club has established strong links with the GB Olympic Taekwondo team in Manchester and Kieron Griffiths, the club’s sports coach, leads some sessions which geared towards Olympic-style disciplines.

He said: “We are working on strength and conditioning, speed and agility.

“The Olympic taekwondo team already works closely with the GB gymnastic team and that kind of training is really useful.

“Obviously our aim is help some of our students to work up to a standard in which they can eventually challenge for places in the Olympic team.

“The GB team has gone up the league tables in recent times and is doing a lot better, so our involvement comes at a really good time.”

Wednesday nights at the club are dedicated specifically ton these Olympic sessions.

Kieron said: “We have about a dozen students who we are training in the Olympic-style and who are competing in events up and down the country.

“We are one of only two clubs in the Lancashire who are doing this, the other one being in Wigan.

“Theses students are aged from eight to 33, so we have a nice mix of ages.

“This side of things is more of a sport, so it is technically quite different from what we do at the other sessions.”

He added: “We compete in British Taekwondo Control Board events, which is Olympic-recognised.”

Also helping out at the club is Alan’s daughter, Sarah Bainbridge.

Tuesday and Thursday sessions are a mixture of traditional and Olympic-style sessions, while Mondays are for more basic training.

Alan said: “Taekwondo is still a very popular sport.

“A good thing about it is the discipline which it entails, which stands you in good stead for lots of different things.”

The competition season has now ended but will begin again in earnest in September.