European Taekwondo Performance Center: Gateway to Success?
With the Olympic Tournament reaching its closure, a careful analysis of the results is unavoidable. But before we go to that exercise, a closer look at the newly founded European Taekwondo Performance Center is done by SportsEDTV!
Reaching the Olympic Games is the dream of many athletes. But it is also the result of a long and systematic effort with professional coaching. To achieve this objective, the great nations of sport and Taekwondo in Europe, such as Spain, Great Britain, France, invest considerable amounts of money in Taekwondo. What about the others?
The European Taekwondo Union (ETU) is one of the most successful and innovative continental unions of World Taekwondo. In the past decades, ETU has developed a fantastic system of high-level competitions throughout Europe, aiming at senior-level athletes and at kids, cadets, juniors, and young adolescents under the age of 21. Competing at a young level at an elite European platform cleared the way for these youngsters to grow into successful elite athletes.
And now we want to make sure that all athletes with potential from all our member countries - even those with fewer means - can have an equal chance to win these competitions. This is the goal of the European Taekwondo Performance Center (ETPC). The program is for all our member countries that do not have the required critical mass on both the athlete side and financially to compete at the same level as our well-funded members.
The ETPC will offer a different range of training programs. All programs have the same foundation: training camps in a professional training environment, personalized training programs, athlete profiling, and regular online feedback. The ultimate goal is to qualify athletes for the Olympics and give the athletes the best possible preparation to succeed at the Olympics.
The Olympic program is the flagship training program of the center, focusing on athletes that have Olympic ambitions. But ambition alone is not enough. From all athletes and also their federations, more than only ambition is required. Once an athlete is enrolled in the Olympic program, it is expected that the athlete will give taekwondo priority in their life. Also, the federation is expected to deliver its part: the national coach is part of everything that is done within the programs offered by the ETPC. Only with joint forces is success possible!
The Elite program is almost the same program as the Olympic program, but this program aims at athletes with high ambitions and knowing that Olympic aspirations may be a bridge too far. Nevertheless, the Elite program also requires from these athletes and federation a considerable commitment. The athletes are expected to participate in each training camp, fulfill the personalized training programs' duties, and work together with the ETPC and federation in realizing the athlete's ambitions.
The ETPC not only offers programs for seniors but is also open for cadet and junior athletes. It's the belief of ETU that also these athletes deserve a chance to develop themselves in their journey to realize their Olympic dreams. Bradley Sinden (GBR) is a perfect example of an athlete who started at a very young age with Taekwondo, medaled at European championships, and eventually realized his Olympic dream by winning silver at the Tokyo Olympics! Being able to participate in professional training programs offered by GB Taekwondo, Bradley realized his dreams. The ETPC aims to do the same for many other athletes throughout Europe.