1) What is your new role at Taekwondo Scotland?
My job title is Performance Coach. I am now responsible for implementing a high performance development programme to help aspiring sport Taekwondo players become World class fighters. Remember that those players who deliver great performances and display the appropriate attitude will get a chance to join the UK National team for the European and World Championships, and the Olympic Games. Within the same role I am also the Head Coach for the sport Taekwondo Scottish National Team. This in itself is a very exciting role and I am looking forward to selecting and coaching the Scottish team at the next Taekwondo Commonwealth Championship.
2) What attracted you to the position?
I have lived in Scotland for many years and I have been involved in sport Taekwondo from the very start. I believe that as the Performance Coach I can take on responsibilities and make key decisions that will allow us to raise the standard of Scottish sport Taekwondo and produce the World class fighters this Nation deserves.
3) What is your background?
I qualified with a diploma in sport Taekwondo coaching in 1995 and have been an accredited Taekwondo coach ever since. I have been coaching high calibre Taekwondo players since 1993. There is a long list of outstanding players I have coached, or helped to an extent, both in Greece and in the UK, many of whom became domestic or international champions. Throughout my career I have had the privilege of learning a great deal through my studies, my personal experiences as a fighter, and also from some of Europe’s best coaches such as Ireno Fargas, Heink Meyer, and Georg Streif. Apart from a Taekwondo coach, I am also a qualified and accredited strength and conditioning coach, a qualified HPC registered dietitian, and currently, I also work as a performance nutritionist for the institute of sport.
4) What do you hope to achieve in this role?
I firstly want to make a high performance development programme available to all clubs in Scotland. I also want to work with the club instructors/coaches to help raise the quality of players at grassroots level. Ultimately, I want Scotland to be regarded as a Nation with a very strong pool of sport Taekwondo players and an equally strong legacy.
5) What opportunities are there for those interested in competition taekwondo?
Within the high performance development pathway there are various levels, from Foundation level to National Team, where we are going to allocate players appropriately based on their skills. The Foundation level is accessible to anyone who enjoys sport Taekwondo and wants to practise more sport specific skills. Each month there will be a Foundation level session open to all players at any point during the year, through their club instructors.
6) Where can people find out more about the programme?
Information on training dates will be available at www.taekwondoscotland.org However, it is important to note those who wish to come along to any training sessions need to register their interest through their club instructor. Needless to say anyone put forward through their club instructors will be more than welcome to join in the fun of sport Taekwondo training. I am looking forward to seeing everyone there.
7) Do you have any useful tips for those interested in competitive sport Taekwondo?
“Set your ambitions high. Work hard and work smart to get to where you want to be. Be honest and stay true to yourself throughout the journey. When you achieve your goals remain humble and help others in their journey to excellence.”