On the 26th April 2014 the first ITF Austria Kids Event was held, a tournament designed to give children aged 10 and under from 10th Kup to 8th Kup their first competitive experience in Taekwon-Do. 30 children from 5 different clubs took part in this event and great fun was had by all participants, officials and enthusiastic parents.
Contrary to common Taekwon-Do tournaments, the Kids Event not only offered traditional categories, but some new ones as well, specifically designed for children. Besides pattern and special technique competitions, there were also kicking technique divisions, in which the children had to display their ability to perform both Ap Cha Busigi and Yop Cha Jirugi.
The special technique categories went down very well with the children and spirits were high as they cheered each other on whilst performing Twimyo Nopi Ap Cha Busigi and Twimyo Nopi Yop Cha Jirugi.
Highlight of the tournament, without a doubt, were the "Gladiator" matches, in which the children had to knock their opponents off a balancing beam with a pugil stick, all while maintaining their own balance.
Also departing from the traditional procedure, the prizes were not trophies and medals, but stars which could be sewn onto the dobok sleeve, coloured according to the "medal" the children won. No one was left out, as even those unlucky to win a place on the podium were also given a star for their doboks, coloured black. Our tiger mascot was there to celebrate with all of them during the award ceremony.
The first Kids Event was a full success and well received by children and parents alike. Special thanks are given to Christina Mechacek III. Degree (head of Kids Training Program), who created this event and, with her members (Wim de Graeve and Christopher Nord) and volunteers, implemented it very professionally.
Photos of this event can be seen on the ITF Austria Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/itfaustria
ITF Austria would like to thank all competitors and contributors (helpers, umpires etc.) who helped make this event a big success.