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Taekwondo students come out top at National Championships

 Published on: 30th April 2019   |   By: News Desk   |   Category: Uncategorized

Six Croxley Green Taekwondo students scooped up medals at the TAGB (Taekwondo Association of Great Britain) National Taekwondo Championships held in Bracknell.

Olivia Murphy and Ty Russell secured gold medals, Cyan Vaughan brought home a silver medal and Emily Lloyd, Charlie Hassall and Rae Thompson picked up bronze medals.

Nya Vaughan and Eliya Sandilands narrowly missed out on bronze medals.

They all competed in the full contact sparing and (poomase) patterns categories.

Coach, Russell Lesser, who runs local Rusty Taekwondo, said he was “pleased” of the children’s successes at the tournament which was held on March 30.

He said: “I’m very pleased the children had the confidence to enter this high level competition. My secret of teaching children at such a young age is not solely focusing on discipline but enabling the children to have fun with martial arts in a disciplined environment whilst working towards their next grade. I’m extremely proud of the children, they have come so far as such a young age.”

Eight children travelled to the Berkshire town; Olivia Murphy, Ty Lesser, Charlie Hassall, Emily Lloyd, Rae Thompson, Eliya Sandilands and Cyan and Nya Vaughan.

Rae Thompson, eight, said: “I was really excited about taking part and challenging myself. It was the first time in the arena on my own and so I was also very nervous, but the atmosphere was great. Coach Rusty was with us every step of the way, and we could hear our parents support from the crowd.

“I want to work hard at my gradings and hopefully achieve a black belt one day. My biggest inspiration is Jade Jones. She shows you that girls can be strong and just as good as the boys at Taekwando.”

Emily Lloyd said: “I was mostly excited but tired from getting up so early. I couldn’t wait to show the judges my patterns and I felt very proud when I got my medal. I want to go all the way to the Olympics.”

Ty Lesser, nine said: “I’m really proud of my gold medal and want to keep up the hard work. Taekwondo is a great sport and I love the flash kicks and it’s a really fast physical sport. I would like to compete at a good level and achieve my black belt.”

Olivia Murphy commented: “I was very excited and nervous to be competing in my first National Championships, I took part to gain experience of competing in a Taekwondo tournament after going along just to support before. 

“I look forward to training on Monday nights with Coach Rusty, he makes it fun. I would really love to get to a black belt.”

Russell has been training in Taekwondo since he was seven and has competed at national and international level. After spending his 20s training at top UK clubs and achieving his 2nd Dan Black Belt, he set up Rusty Taekwondo. 

Russell’s aim is to ensure children are engaged in a fun and focused fitness class with the discipline of Taekwondo.

He said: “As having young children myself and wanting them to do Taekwondo I have since been running the club for over two years. I have been a black belt in Taekwondo since I was 11 and have trained ever since.

“When I competed in tournaments and competitions back when I was young were nerve wracking, but such a good opportunity and I used to learn by watching other competitors.”

Russell hasn’t seen any of his students turn pro but is hopeful he will see a student fulfil their Taekwondo potential. 

Rusty Taekwondo classes are for children aged four plus and are focused around discipline, traditional Taekwondo, building confidence and coordination.

Should anyone want their child to get involved they run classes every Monday from 4pm onwards (5pm for seniors) and more information can be found on our website at

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