National Coaching Director Master El-Sheikh organised Team Australia Camp 1 which was held at the Sydney Academy of Sport on the Northern beaches of Sydney in Narrabeen 20-22 January 2017.
The camp officially kicks off Team Australia’s 2017 ITF World Championships campaign which are scheduled for 9-16 October 2017 in Dublin, Ireland.
Team Australia arrived into camp Friday afternoon and settled into there allocated rooms assigned by the National Team Managers Ken and Gail Hayden followed by Dinner with great food catered for by the training facility. After dinner everyone gathered in the lecture room where Master El-Sheikh gave a welcoming speech introduction to the weekends camp and expectations for this campaign. Mr Trevor McIntyre also addressed the team helping the team understand the honour and privilege they have been given to represent their country at the highest level of Taekwon-do Competition in the World. The talks were followed with video analysis of past performances from recent championships and team talks with the state coaches.
Session 1 began at 6:30am with a specialised training session by former Rugby Sevens International Mr Roland Herea who put the team through 90 minutes of specific functional body movements associated with martial arts and techniques used to improve the central nervous system for sport. The Team thoroughly enjoyed this session which challenged the mind and body coordination.
Session 2 was in the pool where Master El-Sheikh put the team through 30 minute drill called Heaven-Earth-Hell this drill had the team push through the physical and then mental barriers as they began tiring while constantly being under pressure to perform. Next was the dry rope drill where the teams had to communicate and work together while moving laterally across the pool and keep the heavy rope dry finishing off with a treading water exercise.
Session 3 was the challenging high ropes course which saw the team work together encouraging and assisting their team mates through heights and fears that put people out of their comfort zones to different degrees some more than others but the whole team worked as one unit to all complete the activity with praise from the academy instructor on their teamwork.
The morning began with early morning breakfast before setting up the hall with the training equipment ready for the day ahead. Mr McIntyre addressed the team prior to the arrival of the Masters. ITF Board Member Master Daher and Master El-Sheikh were welcomed by the National Team after officially bowing in to our President Master Daher the team was seated while Master El-Sheikh spoke to the team about the history of ITF in Australia and the sacrifices Master Daher endured for the promotion of ITF in this country.
Mr McIntyre also spoke of this history in particular to the old competition days of representing Australia under Coach Master Daher and team mate Master El-Sheikh and their continuation as strong friends built on their shared passion and history of training which continues today as they pass on their knowledge to the future leaders of Taekwon-do.
Master Daher addressed the team with a speech on his history in Taekwon-do and the achievements of past teams and Australia bringing Oceania regions first ever ITF World Championships Medal win back in 1992. Master Daher told them of the honour and privilege they have been given to represent their country on the world stage and to continue working hard for their goals.
A historic moment for ITF Taekwon-do Australia was the surprise presentation of ITF 7 degree certificate by Master Daher to an emotional Master El-Sheikh who reflected and shared his beginnings and stories as a young boy who absorbed and copied everything Master Daher taught and executed in his movements.
The National Team was put through a group warm up by Master El-Sheikh before splitting into groups training under state coaches Mr Michael Nguyen, Mr Trent Hayden, Melanie Khadi and Umpire Chairman Mr Trevor McIntyre. The coaches covered sparring, patterns, special techniques and power breaking while National Team Managers Ken & Gail Hayden monitored the team and worked on team logistics for this campaign.
At the conclusion of the day National Coaching Director Master El-Sheikh announced the captain of the Australian Team for 2017 to be Mr Trent Hayden who will lead the Aussies into competition. Master Daher addressed the National Team and reminded them of their duties and responsibilities in representing Australia with honour and respect before officially closing National Team Camp 1.
We wish the team all the success and may they enjoy this amazing experience in representing Australia.