Scotland National Team at the 2012 Dutch Open
On the weekend of 17-18 March seven Scots will compete at the 39th Dutch Open representing Scotland. This year the Dutch Open promises to be the best A-class tournament before the Olympic Games with many strong teams sending their best players. “We have always considered the Dutch Open as an important event for our players to attend; it is going to be a tough but exciting challenge for our team but every young player will learn a great deal from this opportunity” said National Performance Coach Master Nikos Jakubiak.
He went on to explain that since the beginning of Scotland’s High Performance Programme the main focus has been on aspiring cadet and junior players. Senior players are always welcomed in the squad but funding and further support is prioritised to players with prospects to gain a place in the 2016 or 2020 Olympic Games. This seems to be more likely with younger players who have a much greater scope for improvement.
Scotland does have two very experienced and successful players in Louise Mair and Lesley Jakubiak who have won 10 medals between them from A-class tournaments. Louise was a full time athlete with the GB National Team for several years and won four, Lesley did not receive any funding but still managed to win six! It is difficult to know if they are still going to be looking for a place in an Olympic team in four years time. Lesley’s and Louise’s achievements have set a high standard for the rest of the Scottish players to follow however we remain certain that some of the young players in our programme will be able to set the bar even higher if they continue the work expected of them. “This is a tall order and this is why we need to concentrate our efforts on the new generation of players and is why the Scottish team at the Dutch Open will consist of five juniors out of seven players” emphasised Master Jakubiak. We are sending a young team to the Dutch Open yet all of our players understand they still have a lot to learn and it is clear to everyone that they are progressing remarkably. We have already seen four young Scots joining the GB National Team Talent squads and more recently, for the first time in 10 years, one of them will join the GB team for the junior World championship in April.
The Scotland National Team for the 39th Dutch Open will comprise the following NTDS and NTES players:
We wish them all the best of success and we will try to keep you up-to-date with their progress as it happens through our facebook page: Sport Taekwondo Scotland.