IL-Shim International Taekwon-do Stawell held a long-awaited grading for their students on Thursday May 12 with the last grading planned in May 2020.
Training at the club during the various lockdowns was difficult for the centre with training being held at homes across Stawell. Grand Master Daher, who has his school in Sydney ran various Zoom classes to help students fine tune their skills.
Instructor and owner Chris Sirre said the club is still working on getting back to pre-COVID-19 numbers at the centre.
"When we could finally go back to some kind of normal training we had to advertise the club and attract more students," he said.
"We gave new students a month of free training and the number of new students excelled. We knew that not all will continue their Taekwon-do journey but even after some dropped out the numbers are still healthy."
One student that did continue with the club was Lia Hayward who had been with the club since she was eight. Lia is very dedicated to the art and trains a lot at home with her dad, instructor Dean Hayward.
Lia was only one grading away from obtaining her black belt, and then COVID-19 hit. After many at-home training and Zoom sessions with Grand Master Daher, Lia was ready to grade for her black belt.
On May 12, Grand Master Daher came down from Sydney to grade Lia, along with other students from the centre.
The white belt students successfully passed their first grading and were presented with their new belt and certificate then senior belts were also successful. Next it was Lia's turn, she went smoothly through all her patterns, showed off her powerful kicks and finished with breaking boards with her kicks and hand strikes.
"Lia is and always has been an inspiration for students, especially the girls, hence the reason why all the new students stayed and watched her," instructor Mr Sirre said.
Ms Corrine Raymant who owned the club and was the instructor when Lia started was also in attendance.
"It was pretty emotional with many fighting to hold back the happy tears when Lia was presented with her black belt and certificate," Mr Sirre said.
"To receive your black belt is a big thing, something you have to work hard for and to receive it from Grand Master Daher is a big honor."
Grand Master Daher is one of the vice presidents of the International Taekwon-Do Federation and has been on the International Taekwon-Do Federation Board of Directors since its formation in 2003.
He is also a member of the ITF's Asian development team, as well as the founder and acting president of the Central Arab Taekwon-Do federation consisting of 22 countries within the gulf region.
If you want to start your Taekwondo journey then feel free to come and try, training is in the gymnasium at Stawell Primary School.
The next grading for the club is set for August 4 2022.
Tuesday and Thursday
4-6yrs Little Ninja's (Tue only) 4-5pm
Junior belts 5.15-6.15pm
Senior belts 6.30- 8.00pm
Contact Chris Sirre for more information via https://www.ilshimtaekwondostawell.com or via our Facebook page.
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