Regional Victoria is set to host the 2022 Australian Taekwondo National Championships after Australian Taekwondo made the decision to move the event, initially scheduled for Western Australia on October 2-3, to the later date of December 3-4 due to the Oceania Championships and a date clash.
Australian Taekwondo Chief Executive Officer Heather Garriock is pleased to bring Taekwondo to regional Victoria but acknowledges the disappointment of those in Western Australia and a new date that's unlike previous years.
"The decision to move our National Championships was not taken lightly, however, we know the community will be on board with our decision," said Garriock.
"Since I commenced with Australian Taekwondo, I've been very transparent about our direction: modernise, professionalise, and commercialise. While we always consider the needs of our members, we must also consider the needs of Australian Taekwondo as a business, our strategic objectives, and what we need to do for our events to work as a vehicle to support participation growth and interest in Taekwondo to benefit everybody. We have to find a happy medium."
"International event schedules, new date clashes, and securing a venue that was available and suitable to produce an event to the standard we desire to deliver all played a role in our decision to move the event to Victoria."
"We are well aware of potential conflicts with club grading schedules, Christmas functions, exams, holidays, and all the added extras the end year brings. However, we are communicating confirmed dates to our clubs and members now so there is ample time given to adjust schedules."
"The 2021 Australian Taekwondo National Championships in Brisbane set the pace and the professional standard of event delivery we seek to maintain. The feedback from Brisbane was overwhelmingly positive, and we want to continue to deliver events that our athletes, coaches, clubs, and fans love."
"We will take an event to Western Australia in the future, and we are currently looking at the upcoming options available and suitability."
The two-day competition will feature Poomsae and Kyorugi, plus the newly introduced Fight Night for the sparring World Championship Weight Division finals, which will be broadcasted live for the second time.
Showcasing Taekwondo to regional Victoria is an important step as Australian Taekwondo lobbies to have Taekwondo included on the Commonwealth Games programme ahead of the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
"There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to have Taekwondo included in the 2026 Commonwealth Games, which was a factor in our decision to bring Taekwondo to regional Victoria," said Garriock.
"Our community has been very vocal about wanting to see Taekwondo included at the Commonwealth Games and we are working with the necessary stakeholders and governing bodies to try and achieve this. It would be a fantastic outcome for Taekwondo."
Taekwondo is classified as a Category 2 sport and is eligible for inclusion. Under the current Commonwealth Games Federation regulations, the host city must include a minimum of 10 core sports (Category 1) on the program.
Up to seven optional sports (Category 2) can be added to the programme. There are currently 16 sports selected for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with further sports to be announced in late 2022.
The official location, venue, and stakeholder announcement for the 2022 Australian Taekwondo National Championships will be released shortly.