• Hawke’s Bay to host International Special Needs Taekwon-Do Games

Hawke’s Bay to host International Special Needs Taekwon-Do Games

The Pettigrew Green Arena in Taradale will host an inspiring event in October – the International Special Needs Taekwon-Do Games.

New Zealand’s team of around 55 special needs Taekwon-Do athletes participating in the games are ready to hit the world stage against competitors from about eight other countries who will also be competing.

Benjamin Evans, President of the Special Needs Taekwon-Do Federation of New Zealand, says the event on October 5 will be the first time New Zealand has hosted the International games, which is for both athletes with intellectual and physical disabilities.

New Zealand’s strong team of around 55 includes male and female competitors across a range of ages, he says.

Events at the games include Patterns, Team Patterns, Mixed Abilities (partners with mainstream and special needs), Power Breaking, and Jumping High Kick.

Spectators are welcome to attend the games at Pettigrew Green Arena with admission being by gold coin donation and proceeds going to the Special Needs Taekwon-Do NZ Charitable Trust to help pay for event costs.

“We have athletes from various special needs provider and school systems here in Hawkes Bay. They had to qualify and be at the event held at Havelock North High School 27 June!” Ben says.

“We have eight or nine countries coming: Australia, Canada, England, Ethiopia, Iran, New Zealand, Netherlands, Russia, USA. There will be approximately 50 international guests in Hawke’s Bay which is pretty amazing. It is our first and time is ticking! We want to thank Napier City Council, and the council’s Event Manager Kevin Murphy, for their kind support sponsorship of two huge 3m by 6m banners.”

Ben says the board and committee members have been meeting regularly to make sure everything is as it needs to be to ensure the event makes the best possible impression on the international stage.

“We are thankful of Mitre10 Mega Napier and Hastings for tier support for the event as a sponsor,” he says.

“Menzshed Napier’s Brain Hatton has supported the event by building and developing three brand new breaking machines especially adapted for special needs of all heights, as normal breaking machines can only go so low and high, we have really tweaked the machines with kiwi ingenuity!

“Most appreciated for all of his hard work and Menzshed contributing all material free. We have Brian who will present medals of the power breaking for the medals ceremony 2pm. The opening ceremony will be at 9.30am.

A Hamilton special needs group band is attending the event and will be a part of the opening ceremony, along with other opening acts.