Quin trio to represent Ireland
The club has been represented many times at this level with club instructor Stephen Ryan, who is a fifth Dan black belt, flying the flag. Stephen will be one of the favourites going into this championship having won silver at the World Championships in Wellington, New Zealand back in March.
Stephen has been competing at international level since 1999 and although he turns 30 next year, he shows no signs of slowing down. He will be hoping to keep his winning streak going with the long-term plan of winning the world title at the next World Championships in Spain in 2013.
Stephen is proud that as well as his own success, the club is now starting to turn out new talent with two female athletes making the grade for the upcoming European Championships.
“To compete at this level, you need a massive amount of dedication and self-sacrifice. The Quin competitors have been working hard by training six days a week, sometimes twice a day, in preparation for this championship,” he explained.
Stephen works as a teacher in St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla and is also the main instructor in Quin Taekwon-Do club, where students range from age six up to adult level. As Stephen is now ranked among the top competitors in the world, people often travel from other Taekwon-Do clubs around the country to receive tuition at the Quin club.
Laura Cullen is the club’s assistant instructor and Nicole Moriarty holds one of the club’s first black belts and both have been selected for the first time this year for the national team.
Although this will be their first time experiencing competition at this level, with the time and effort they have put into training, they will be hoping to stand on the podium at the end of the championships with medals around their necks and the Irish National Anthem playing in the background.
“Everyone at the club is very proud of the achievements of these competitors so far and it is great to see students like Nicole progress all the way from beginner level to where they are today,” Stephen explained. Back at the Quin Taekwon-Do club, regular training kicks off this week and more information is available by logging onto their website at www.quintkd.ie.