Australia's next generation of Taekwondo athletes will descend on the Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool on Saturday as national team selections take place for next month's Cadet World Championships and Junior World Championships in Bulgaria.
Up and coming athletes from 32 clubs around the country will vie for a division place and the opportunity to represent Australia at two of World Taekwondo's most prestigious junior events.
Australian Taekwondo's Chief Executive Officer Heather Garrick, who amassed 130 caps for Australia during her time on the field with the Matildas, knows only too well the excitement, nerves, and anticipation that athletes, coaches, and parents will feel come Saturday.
"It's encouraging to lead a sport where kids as young as 12 have the opportunity to represent Australia. There is no greater honour than to represent your country and wear the green and gold, no matter your age. These young athletes are our future Olympians and many will be at selection age by the time the Brisbane Olympics in 2032 come around."
"Taekwondo is unique because kids can become involved from as young as three. Some Junior and Cadet athletes have significant experience behind them by their early teens. As a parent, there is no greater enjoyment than to watch your child succeed in something they love and Taekwondo offers many representative opportunities for kids, teens, and young adults.”
Saturday will see 63 Cadets and 85 Juniors fighting for a spot in one of the 38 divisions on offer across both events. Athletes who place first in their nominated division and meet all the necessary criteria will be eligible for selection for the applicable national team.
Cadet athletes must be aged 12-14 years at December 31 2022, and Junior athletes must be aged 15-17 years at December 31 2022 to be eligible for selection.
World Taekwondo's new rules, which came into effect on June 1, 2022, will also be implemented.
The Junior and Cadet World Championships Selection Event will be held at the Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool on Saturday, June 4, from 8:00 AM.
Spectator tickets can be purchased through Australian Taekwondo. Press passes are also available upon request.
The Cadet World Championships will run from July 28-31 followed by the Junior World Championships on August 2-7. Both events will take place in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.