The 2017 AAITF Sydney National Championship was an eventful two day competition which brought together Taekwon-Do clubs from around Australia. In conjunction to the National Championship was the selection for next years Australian team who will represent our country in the World Championship held in Minsk, Belarus. Master Tam Fook Chee’s Tam Taekwon-do Mudokwan hosted this event in Valentine Sports Park Stadium with over 250 competitors. During the course of the two day event all competitors showcased their excellence in pattern, special technique and sparring. This positively reflects upon the standard of Taekwon-Do in Australia.
One of the many highlights of the event would have to be the grand opening ceremony. In front row seats was the Mayor of Blacktown City Council the honourable Stephen Bali, Grandmaster Dr. Linda Low (President of ITF Australia), Grandmaster Low Ming Tuck (ITF President of Oceania), Master Tan Eng Kiat from Malaysia, Sydney South’s Dr. Michael Zhu and Tam Taekwon-Do’s fellow partner Ms. Joyce Yeung. This ceremony entailed the biggest group pattern performance in Australia. Students and instructors from Tam Taekwon-Do performed an incredible Dan-Gun Tul in sync with board breaking at the conclusion of the pattern. Following the prodigious team pattern performance, senior Tam Taekwon-Do black belts showcased a spectacular traditional pattern. As the astounding group of black belts concluded, the Chinese Masonic Society took centre stage as they performed traditional Chinese lion dances. Spectators were also lucky to witness astonishing tile and wooden board breaking demonstrations by senior Tam Taekwon students and teachers. In this incredible performance, Master Tam Fook Chee smashed through layers of tiles as well as concrete blocks. As shocked and amazed spectators were, Master Tam received the same reaction as he was then presented the ‘Outstanding Instructor Medal’ by Grandmaster Low Ming Tuck on behalf of ITF President Ri Yong Son. Master Tam was then presented a personalised book dedicated to his 40th year in learning, practicing and teaching in the art. This significant milestone is definitely one that is hard to achieve. Letters from ITF Headquarters Prof Kim Sung Hwang, ITF Japan HQ and sister dojang Mr Pak Chong Hyon, Master Seo Mancheol and Master Hwang Su Il and Vison TKD Malaysia Master Tan Eng Kiat (Master tam's instructor) were read aloud and highlighted Master Tams great achievements as well as the profound impact he has left on the world of ITF. Councillor Stephen Bali congratulated Master Tam and shared with the audience that he was ‘honoured that Master Tam chose the City of Blacktown to host the event’ and officially opened the tournament.
During the two days, volunteers from Tam Taekwon-Do set up a stall and sold goods kindly donated from Master Tam to raise funds for The Fenias Claudio Project. This project will help in raising the much needed funds to acquire a custom-made prosthetic leg for Fenias. Without the support, something of such cost would be out of reach for him. Funds raised will be sent to ITF South Africa President Jaren Phillips who is coordinating the initiative. All who supported should be proud because their contributions will make a life changing difference.
Each and every competitors should be congratulated because they have profusely put in a tremendous amount of effort into their events. Competitors during the course of the two days have gained much valuable experience as well as meeting new friends from other dojangs. It was exceptional to see all competitors and spectators amicably mingling throughout the event. Master Tam brought together all different groups and there was definitely a strong sense of support amongst everyone for every individual. For that I would like to thank him for this great opportunity brought about by organising this event.
The tournament ran like clockwork and the efficiency is much credited to the people who worked behind the scenes. Everyone who also volunteered and managed the tournament on the day deserve a very big thank you (especial Master Tam and Sabum Mayumi Tam). Without the help of every individual, the event would not have been successful or even come into fruition. It has certainly raised the bar for nationals events to come.
Words from Master Tam Fook Chee - “Thank you to everyone - helpers, floor managers, team managers, jury's, marshals, judges, competitors and supporters. Each and everyone has played a fundamental role in making this competition as enjoyable and rewarding as it was. I hope you enjoyed the 2017 Sydney AAITF National Championship and I am looking forwarding to seeing everyone at the next.”
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