President Turton Presents Taekwondo's Case to the Ministry of Health and Wellness for Authorization of Safe Return to Sporting Activity within Barbados' COVID-19 Environment
21 April 2021
ST. MICHAEL, Barbados - President Turton accepted the invitation from the Ministry of Health and Wellness to Sporting Federations for a meeting earlier today to discuss the guidelines needed to safely restart the Sporting activities within the COVID-19 Environment. The Ministers of Health - Lt. Col. the Hon. Geoffrey Bostic, and Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment - the Hon. Dwight Sutherland; along with Chief Medical Officer - Dr. Kenneth George guided the discussions which followed a presentation on the Framework for Gradual Return to Training, Competitions and Spectators. Also in attendance were officilas from the National Sports Council including Director Mr. Neil Murrell.
In a clear presentation to the Panel of the Ministries, President Turton outlined that three of the five areas of pursuit within Taekwondo were practiced as Sports - Breaking/ Kyukpa, Kyorugi/ Sparring and Poomsae/ Forms (the other two being Weapons and Self-defense). He explained that whilst Taekwondo was classified as a combat sport, two of the Sporting pursuits (Breaking and Poomsae) were actually non-combative. He highlighted the Global trend over the past year to shift emphasis of International Competitions to Poomsae/ Forms which were conducted safely online, and pointed to Barbados' recent participation in the online Pan American Poomsae Championships last December. He further explained the controlled environment within which Taekwondo National Federation operates as an indoor sport including provision for:
In his direct response to President Turton, Minister Bostic stated that "There is scope for that". The Health Minister then added that "This is why we engage...the Government's current Directives don't cover everybody... this is why we're here at this meeting (to hear from the National Sporting Federations)." After various other presentations, Minister Bostic indicated to the meeting that their inputs will be forwarded to a sub-committee of Cabinet charged with Management of the response to the COVID19 pandemic and passed onto Parliament for approval.
Following the meeting President Turton expressed his optimism for a favourable response to the request given Taekwondo's diverse nature and understanding for mitigation of risk of virus transmission, and that it would be great news for practitioners in Barbados who were eager to be able to return to the Dojangs and at least resume offline training.
Barbados Represented by Six Persons at 2021 Caribbean Taekwondo Black Belt Poomsae Seminar
10 April 2021
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Caribbean MNAs hosted the 2021 Caribbean Taekwondo Black Belt Poomsae Seminar held online on Saturday 20 April 2021. The event, which ran just over three hours, attracted over one hundred and thirty-five (135) participants from over fifteen (15) countries including Barbados, Bahamas, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Columbia, Costa Rica, Grenada, Haiti, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and USA. It was led by GrandMaster Raymond Hsu, sponsored by World Taekwondo Pan America Secretary General Master Rick Shin. It was also carried live on facebook thanks to mastkd.com.
According to President Turton, this was a good event for the Caribbean Region and Barbados, as leaders have come together to forge more activity at the regional level for Caribbean MNAs. It will certainly assist with regional developmental efforts. There was great detail and quality in the seminar. It is hoped that participants will draw from their experience in the event and benefit from an increase of their confidence for participation in Poomsae competitions going forward.
Barbados was represented by six (6) persons including Messrs. Adrian Burnett, Askia Alleyne, Damian Best, Henderson Turton, Liana Best-Smith and Chioke Holder.
The Poomsae Seminar follows on from the Caribbean Beginner Referees training course held last October 2020. At the end of the seminar Master Frenel Ostin of Haiti shared Caribbean MNA plans with participants for further activity to come later this year, this time for coloured Ranks. This first Poomsae seminar catered to Advanced level practitioners, whilst efforts are underway for subsequent seminars aimed at practitioners from the Intermediate and Beginner levels to be held later this year. That way there would have been offering for the full spectrum of practitioners at the regional level.
The 2021 GYFW Online Poomsae Competition has been deferred following the "National Pause" and subsequent prohibitive occurrences for participants which included access to suitably spacious competition venues given the restrictions imposed under national directives.
Online Poomsae Competition agreed to be undertaken following Annual Joint Meeting of Club Heads and Executive Council
2 January 2021
Bridgetown, BARBADOS - Following the annual Joint Meeting of the Association's Club Heads and Executive Council it was agreed that the first competition on the 2021 calendar of events would be an online Poomsae competition in light of the Government's advice on observing COVID-19 Protocols and the national effort to reduce its spread. It is an ambitious undertaking given the limited resources of the association. However, the Association is committed to the development of the Sport locally and providing opportunities to practitioners for safe competition.
The event will be featured at the fifth annual "Get Ya Feet Wet" competition slated for 31 January 2021, and may quite fittingly be so held as the Association attempts the first of its kind for the sport locally.
Alleyne Competes for Barbados on Day 2 in 2020 Official PanAm Online Poomsae Championships
20 December 2020
Bridgetown, BARBADOS - Askia Alleyne represented Barbados in the Men's Under-40 Division of the 2020 Pan Am Official Online Poomsae Championships which carried a G2-Ranking. Competing in Ring 1 on Day 2 of the competition, Alleyne was required to perform both the Taebaek and Pyongwon Poomsaes and eventually placed 9th Overall in the Division.
Reflecting on his performance, Alleyne was happy to once again represent his country, and stated it was great experience. He acknowledged the significance for Barbados to be represented in International Poomsae competition. The sentiment was echoed by President Henderson Turton who stated it also meant Barbados made a mark for the first time in a long time in Poomsae competition, and it was a big deal for the Sport in our country. It augured well for development of the Sport locally and also showed Barbadian athletes can also compete internationally in the "non-combative" aspect of the Sport, which some persons may prefer to the more familiar sparring or Kyorugi. He lauded Mr. Alleyne for his efforts in stepping up to the plate despite a relatively short preparation, stating that he hoped it would help inspire others.
Best-Smith Competes for Barbados on Day 1 in 2020 Official PanAm Online Poomsae Championships
19 December 2020
Bridgetown, BARBADOS - Liana Best-Smith made her International Poomsae Debut on Saturday 19 December 2020. Competing in Ring 1 on Day 1 of the 2020 Pan Am Official Online Poomsae Championships, she performed in the Female Cadets Recognised Poomsae Division where she placed 13th overall having come up against more seasoned competitors from around the hemisphere. Afterwards Best-Smith said she felt good about her performance, though admitting she still prefers the Kyorugi Form of competition.
President Mr. Henderson Turton pointed out that Best-Smith continues to be a pioneer in the Sport. He said it was a big deal for little Barbados to even have a Female competitor in that Division considering that only six (6) other countries in the Pan American region were able to field competitors for the division. He lauded Best-Smith for her efforts and dedication to the Sport over the years. This was an invaluable experience which can only be built on and will serve her well in the future. Best-Smith was encouraged to keep training and striving for excellence.
Alleyne and Best-Smith Prepare for 2020 Official PanAm (Online) Poomsae Championships
17 December 2020
Bridgetown, BARBADOS - National Athletes Askia Alleyne and Liana Best-Smith have been selected to represent Barbados in the upcoming 2020 PanAm Poomsae Championships from 19-20 December 2020. The Official Championships is held for members of the Pan Am Taekwondo Union (PATU) and will be a live online format this year. Alleyne and Best-Smith are no strangers to representing Barbados but this time will be competing in the less customary Poomsae Event, which has been occasioned online by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alleyne and Best-Smith hail from the Taekwondo Warriors Club and Williams Taekwondo Dojang respectively, and have been preparing for the competition under the watch of Master Anthony Williams. Alleyne will compete in the Men's Under-40 Division, whilst Best-Smith will be competing in the Female Cadets Division. We wish the Team all the best!