A world-class facility, designed for Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, has been opened in Newton Heath. The new National Taekwondo centre will also be open to residents of Manchester.
The state of the art facility, which opened at the Ten Acres Lane Sports Complex this week, and will be the home of GB Taekwondo and gives athletes such as Jade Jones and Lutalo Muhammad a permanent base – where all of their training and conditioning needs can be met under one roof. Local talent will also benefit from the elite centre, as it will be open for schools and local community clubs to use for 46 hours per week.
Members of the GB Taekwondo squad greeted Federation President Dr. Chungwon Choue as he compered the official opening.
Dr Choue stated “It is always a pleasure to be in Manchester. We have been treated to many world-class events here and I am always struck by the quality of the facilities and the passion that exists for our sport. The establishment of the National Taekwondo Centre, which will also serve as a World Taekwondo Federation regional centre, truly cements Manchester as the home of Taekwondo in the UK.
He continued “Taekwondo is more than just a sport: it is a philosophy. It teaches discipline, understanding and respect and inspires people to live healthy lifestyles. At the WTF, we are working with all our 206 Member National Associations to develop Taekwondo in their countries and encourage people of all ages, genders and backgrounds to participate in sport”.
Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Rosa Battle, has remarked “As well as providing outstanding facilities for GB Taekwondo, the National Taekwondo Centre will provide a lasting community legacy, giving Manchester residents the opportunity to get involved in an Olympic sport, at a world-class centre right on their doorstep”.
The £2.7m project has been funded by Manchester City Council, Sport England and UK Sport whilst management services at the centre have been provided by the Eastlands trust.
GB Taekwondo’s Jade Jones and Lutalo Muhammad captured two medals at London 2012 and British fighters have qualified for four weight divisions for the Rio Games. Jade jones has said, “It’s a huge boost to athletes to have this centre open, particularly as we ramp up our preparations for the Rio Games. To have world-class training and conditioning facilities, along with rooms to rest and recover and to meet with staff, is a really big step forward for Taekwondo in the UK”.
GB Taekwondo has been based in Manchester since 2007, but the new centre means that for the first time elite athletes, coaches and administrators will all work together in the same building. The opening of the new facility, with its 900m2 training hall and 500m2 strength and conditioning hall, comes as the GB athletes continue to build up to this summer’s Olympics in Rio, starting with this month’s Dutch Open.
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