Midleton Club Celebrates Ten Years of Success

2019 saw the Midleton Taekwon-Do Club celebrate its tenth anniversary. Founded in 2009 with less than 20 students, ten years later the club now has more than 200 people training every week. Running six days a week in its full time hall in Market Green Shopping Centre, the Midleton Taekwon-Do Club has had many highpoints over the years, such as training more than 33 students to black belt level, winning multiple local, national, and international competitions, bringing home countless European and World medals, as well as claiming 3 ITF European Championships titles and 3 ITF World Championship wins.


The club started in 2009 with Taekwon-Do Ninja classes for ages 4-7. Run by Mr James Dwyer and Mr Paul Manning, the classes began in the Old School Building on Church Lane, before moving to the Community Centre in Market Green. Mr Dwyer then went on to open the Taekwon-Do Club for older students of ages 8 and up, as well as training teenagers and adults in the hall in the Midleton Rugby Club. The next year, in 2010, Mr Manning and Mr Dwyer won the club's first world medals, with Mr Manning winning bronze in the ITF World Championships in Korea, and with Mr Dwyer winning bronze in the same event fighting as part of the Irish Team, and going one step further to win gold in his individual section becoming the ITF Adult Middle Weight World Champion.


In 2011, the club continued to grow and moved their classes to the hall in St John the Baptist National School, before getting too big again for that and finally leasing out their own full time unit in Knockgriffin Industrial Estate in 2012. It was 2012 where the club acheived its second huge win on the world level, with Mr Paul Manning winning gold in Canada and becoming the ITF Adult Light Weight World Champion.


One of the club's biggest years came next in 2013, where the club had its first students achieve their black belts: Arek Andrejewski, Arnaud Dumat, Daniel Hefkaluk, Jacob Mudy, Liam Kelly, Natalia Hafkaluk, Sam McSweeney, and Verlene Buenchoi became the first 8 people in the club to pass this extremely tough test. In the same year, more than twenty fighters from the club of all belts and ages travelled to the TAGB World Opens in Birmingham and returned with 6 bronze medals, 4 silver, and 1 gold!


The club's instructor at the time, Mr Dwyer, took a step back from running the club in 2014 wth Mr Manning and Ms Aoife O Brien taking on the lead roles. The Midleton Taekwon-Do Club has been lucky to have some great instrcutros and assistant instructors over the years: Mr Mark Crowley, Mr Warren Delaforce, Ms Annie Cummins, Mr Michael Sheppard, Mr Michael McSweeney, Ms Julie Buckley, Mr Arnaud Dumat, and Mr Tomasz Zienkiewicz to name but a few. It was under Mr Manning and Ms O Brien where the club found its permanent new home, coming back to Market Green Shopping Centre in 2015.


Over the next 2 years the club thrived in its full time location, with many more international successes in countries such as Italy, Switzerland, Poland, and Brazil, and with many new black belt promotions along the way. Mr James Dwyer returned to the club in 2017 to run the club's most dangerous classes - the Taekwon-Do Ninjas (ages 4-7) - and in 2018 took over from Mr Manning and Ms O Brien to run the full time club once again. It was 2018 when the club also won its third world championship title, with Mr Paul Manning taking bronze in Argentina in the adult welter weight division, and Mr James Dwyer winning gold to become the Senior Heavy Weight World Champion.


And finally, in 2019, the Midleton Club took part in the ITF European Championships, with 20 colour belts winning more than 30 medals from the European Cup, and with 3 black belts - Ms Lauren Jordan, Mr Tomasz Zienkiewicz, and Mr James Dwyer - winning an amazing 13 medals, 6 of them gold! They won 3 gold medals as members of the Irish Teams, and won the other 3 as European Championship titles!


To mark the past ten years of training, of constant hard work and of incredible success, the Midleton Club invited back all its past students to attend a group photo in its Market Green Hall. It was overwhelming to see so many familiar faces again, especially students who had trained as young as 8 years old returning now as grown men and women (some of them grown to a height of at least 8 feet!). The club would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's every been a part of the club for helping to make it the success that it is today and to the entire Midleton community who have been an amazing support throughout the years. No doubt there will be many more years of great success ahead!

Midleton Taekwondo Club 2019
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