ITF-England AGM Weekend [Review]
ITF-England held their AGM Weekend on 22nd and 23rd September. As well as their annual meeting two training sessions were put on – a Development Squad session on the Saturday, and a Masters Training session on the Sunday. PUMA had black belts present at all of these events.
The Development Squad was probably the best attended of all of the events, with Mr Lammin as one of the coaches and around 8 squad members from schools across PUMA taking part! A separate write up for the squad is currently being written; but these sessions are great for improving your competition skills and taking the next step after PUMA National Squad training sessions.
Sunday started with a 2-hour Masters Training session open to all Black Belts taught by Master Symonds (7th Degree), Master McKenna (7th Degree, ITF-England President) and Master Anderson (8th Degree). Five PUMA Students took part, with Mr Lammin watching while still recovering from an injury picked up at the PUMA International Open. Those taking part were: Miss Henwood (from Devon Martial Arts), Mr T Bailey and Mr A Bailey (both from Swain Taekwon-Do) as well as myself and Mrs Swain (both from Bournemouth TKD). The three Masters took it in turns covering fundamental movements and patterns, each focussing on a different area of performance (eg technical accuracy, rhythm, power) before we split off into different grade groups to look at black belt patterns in more detail.
I’d trained with Master Symonds and Master Anderson in seminars before, both always have a lot of enthusiasm when they teach but this was my first time being taught by Master McKenna. Having spoken with him at Taekwon-Do competitions I knew he was incredibly passionate about Taekwon-Do and his teaching definitely showed this. I think all three Masters got the most out of those training, and everyone left having learnt something new!
Finally (after a quick shower & change) we had the ITF-England Annual General Meeting. This was a chance for the Board members to give their reports from 2019, as well as a discussion of plans for 2020. In some ways it was a typical business meeting, but there were definitely some important messages to take away, at least for me. Firstly, the Ethics and Disciplinary Director said that there were 0 formal disputes in 2019, and the few issues raised were solved with a quick phone call. Secondly, the thought and planning which goes into setting medal targets for the National Team and how the whole board are trying to elevate the engagement and standard within ITF-England. Finally, there was a key message of openness and transparency from all board members – including that ITF-England as a body is not-for-profit, so any proceeds made from events etc are being put back into ITF-England for the benefits of its members.
The official review can be found on the AETF website by clicking this link.