PALACE Martial Arts has returned from the Australian Taekwondo Victoria Autumn Poomsae Championships with five gold medals.
The Hamilton dojang sent Aisha and Jacinta Hendriks, Clancy and Wayne Munro, Daniel Lewis, Stephanie Farquharson, Sienna Maddocks and Ella Shelden to Sunday’s event at Werribee, and the results exceeded expectations.
Farquharson won gold in the Power Breaking – Grade Red section and said there was always an unknown going into the event.
“It is always hard to know what to expect, you have to compare what everyone else is doing,” she said.
“But I think everyone was really pleased with how they did.”
The group started preparations late last year, stepping it up last month and narrowing the focus ahead of the event.
Farquharson said preparations went smoothly, giving the group the best chance of positive results.
“I think for the most part it all went pretty well, with the forms it is a lot of quite repetitive stuff, so the body does get a bit tired,” she said.
“We were putting in some pretty regular practice towards the end of last year, but we really kicked into gear at the start of the school term.”
Having competed at the event before, the 29-year-old said it got easier when despite initial nerves.
“I have competed a few times now and it is one of those things (where) you get a bit better each time,” Farquharson said.
“There are always nerves because you want to do the best you can on the day, and you put a lot of work into doing that.
“It can be something really small that can be the difference between finishing first and last.”
Palace Martial Arts head instructor, Muhktar Kadiri said it was a good test for the group against people from other areas.
“Especially going out there against athletes from bigger areas like Melbourne and Adelaide,” he said.
“I think we were very happy with the results.”
With each section designated a belt colour, competitors must be at that belt level to enter, the event a springboard to higher ranked competitions.
“This is the Victorian competition, then they will look at who they can invite to contest at the Victorian titles and move on to the next level,” Kadiri said.
“We didn’t expect that everyone would come back with a medal, but everyone did really well, it is about how you control your nerves at these events.”
One of the main highlights for Kadiri was the performance of Jacinta Hendriks and Wayne Munro in the 40 years and older section.
“The adults from 40 and above have done really well, they basically smashed their competition, which was a big surprise for me,” he said.
“That led me to believe we are doing really good work around that age group.
“People say ‘I am too old for it’ but this shows it is for everyone.”
The group will get a chance to regroup before the next event in a couple of months.
“This year we are looking at attempting the Gold Coast Open in May, that is the next priority for us,” Kadiri said.
“It attracts a lot of athletes from all over Australia.”
The group will also host its annual Kick-a-thon on March 22, with all funds raised going to the Good Friday Appeal.
Kadiri said it was an important initiative which the club was happy to support.
“We do this every year to show our support to the community,” he said.
“We sell raffle tickets and we get everyone to come in and exercise, have fun and donate to the Good Friday Appeal.
“They are teams of five, we set a time then they just keep kicking the target then at the end of the day we tally to see who won and they win a barbecue.”
It is a gold coin donation to enter with around 100 people expected.
The event starts at 10am and will go until noon.