ILYO Taekwondo Tilba club instructor Zoe Cooper is welcoming the start of the third year of Taekwondo (TKD) on the South Coast.
After having a child, Zoe wished to continue training, so in 2012 with the support of Zoe’s father and head instructor Paul Cooper, ilyo TKD Tilba was born as a sister club to ilyo TKD Barossa in South Australia. “ilyo means oneness, the integration of mind, body, spirit and substance into a unified inseparable being. The practice of Taekwondo follows the tenets of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and courage and we endeavour to teach these ideals to our students,” Zoe said.
“I really get a kick out of watching my students develop in integrity and character, these children are our future and to guide them for a fraction of their lives is a blessing, I just love it!” she said.
“This year I’m looking forward to establishing another club in Narooma, with two clubs we can hold interclub competitions and allow TKD to be accessed by the more northern towns from Tilba such as Kianga, Bodalla and Dalmeny.
Zoe said that Taekwondo can become a life practice.
“I started training when I was six and the self-determination and strength of character that one develops has really pulled me through some tough times in my life, fortunately I have only had to protect myself a couple of times but I really value the self-confidence I have developed to be able to do so.
“I believe having self-confidence and being able to express that in a tight situation is half the battle won. At ilyo we teach self-defence as a last resort, the skill is being able to diffuse or avoid the situation in the first place.
Traditional TKD and sports TKD are taught side by side with Zoe saying that the upcoming year is looking to be busy and exciting for the club.
“I’m proud to mention that two of my students Bradley O'Sullivan and Bethany Partridge have achieved their first gold medal wins at the South Coast open last weekend. They have both been competing in sparring competitions for a year and have great determination.
“It’s great to see their skill levels improve with competitive experience.
Brad and Beth both scored gold medals in heats against students from strong Sydney clubs.
“It’s a fantastic achievement,” Zoe said.
Brad also managed to get another gold win in a heat against a student from Eclipse TKD in Nowra. In the same competition Zayd Cooper competed for the first time with a bronze medal win.
“The self-determination and integrity Zayd showed in the bout and in defeat was commendable, I’m proud of them all, it’s a great start to the year for the club,” Zoe said
ilyo has five competitions through the year, one is the NSW selections for the state team and hopefully a shot at the Australian national TKD championships.
“TKD is about the kids and adults having fun in a safe environment while learning some great life values.
“It’s not an easy sport and is very much based on the individual’s determination and growth while being supported in a team environment.
“I’m pleased to be their coach and thankful to the wonderful community and family support,” Zoe said.