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In 2016, the Special Needs Taekwon-Do Federation of New Zealand (SNTKD-NZ) took 5 boys, with various physical and intellectual disabilities, to compete in the first-ever Special Needs division at the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) World Championships in England. The team had the privilege of putting on a demonstration, as an opening ceremony for the Special Needs division, in front of all competitors and spectators (approx. 5000 people). The demonstration was such a success that it received a standing ovation from everyone in the stadium, including those with Grand Master Rank (9th-degree black belt) and the President of the ITF President Choi Jung Hwa. The competition was a huge success for New Zealand where athletes brought back 3 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. Overall the trip was a huge success. The success of this has lead onto a second division for Special Needs at the 2018 ITF World Championships in Argentina.

The SNTKD NZ has selected a total of 15 special needs athletes who are aged from 10 to 45 heading for the Taekwon-Do World Championship in Argentina in 2018, who will compete in the second ever dedicated special needs world event, which takes place on the first day of the overall competition. The fifteen competitors qualified earlier this year to gain their placement to perform on the world stage. The team will compete in three events; Mixed Abilities, Patterns and a Team Event, in which they will be judged against competitors from around the globe. Ben Evans said ”We are pushing to bring 15 athletes for the 2nd Special Needs Taekwon-Do World Championships in Argentina to continue our momentum internationally. The President of ITF Master Choi Jung Hwa was very impressed by the effort and spoke after the demo saying this proves everyone is special and these guys can do and be involved with Taekwon-Do.”

Our goal is to fundraise for a total of 15 special needs athletes and 7 regulars (who will be working together in special needs events) at the ITF Taekwon-Do World Championships in Argentina July 2018.

This will be the 2nd World Championships for special needs in Taekwon-Do History.

Our Special Needs Taekwon-Do New Zealand Team Athletes are:

Johann Landkroon, Tupuna Rangi, Aidan McCance, William Askew, Callum Youngquest, Maui Oliver, Thomas Jackson, Megan Chui, Peter Cullwick, Peter Lewis, Laurance Rainham, Taraipine Tomoana, Kieran Hornett, Kayden French and Alex Menzies.

Mainstream Athletes in partnership with the special needs athletes are:

Ben Evans - Working with Johann Landkroon

Maddy Evans-Tidey - Working with Thomas Jackson

Grayson French - Working with Tupuna Rangi

Jodie Filipo - Working with Megan Chui

Tyrese Christie - Working with William Askew

Heavenlee Nukunuku - Working with Laurance Rainham

Jayden Nicholson - Working with Peter Cullwick and Peter Lewis

Chassy Fitzgerald - Working with Kayden French