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History of Special Needs Taekwon-Do in New Zealand

2006 - Havelock North High School Special Needs Unit was the first to trial and start Special Needs Taekwon-Do into their weekly programme. This was lead by Ben Evans and well supported by H.O.D Mrs. Bethany Hocquard. Original students who first started were Johann Landkroon, William Askew, Michael Donovan, Elisa, Greta, Jonty Glazebrooke, Emily Hills, Richard Peacock, Aaron Garnham-Pitcher and Eskavan McCartney.

2008-2010 - Taekwon-Do began to spread to various special schools and adult facilities for those with physical/intellectual disabilities.

2010 - Hawkes Bay hosted the first Taekwon-Do championships with a special needs division. It was a huge success. TVNZ (Close Up) attended and covered a story on the historic event.

2011 - Johann Landkroon (green stripe) represents New Zealand in the historic demonstration in Korea at the Taekwon-Do World Championships to spread Special Needs Taekwon-Do internationally.

2013-2015 - 40 Special Needs Taekwon-Do students performed in front of the New Zealand Prime Minister Hon. Rt. John Key. This was a first for the New Zealand Government to witness the strength and excellent performance from the special needs students. 2013-2015 Ben Evans wrote and self published the first book on Special Needs Taekwon-Do which was exported all around the globe.

2015 - The Special Needs Taekwon-Do Programme grows stronger in Hawkes Bay spreading into more schools systems and facilities. Ben Evans travels to Canada to meet with ITF President Grand Master Choi Jung Hwa. It was announced there in Canada at the next World Championships there would be a special needs division open to all.

2016 - A first to happen Special Needs Taekwon-Do World Championships Division in Brighton, England. New Zealand took 5 members to give a demonstration and compete. The team members were Johann Landkroon, Tupuna Rangi, Aidan McCance, Aaron Garnham-Pitcher and Nesta Rei. New Zealand brought back a total of 2 gold, silver and bronze medals (6 medals).

2017 - Special Needs Taekwon-Do expands to other parts of New Zealand with a demonstration team consisting of Johann Landkroon, Tupuna Rangi, Aidan McCance, Maui Kupa along with committee members of the SNTKD-NZ and supporters. Johann Landkroon, Tupuna Rangi and Aidan McCance recently featured on Attitude TV’s Black Belt programme showcasing a series of performances and interviews. After recent selections for the 2nd Special Needs Taekwon-Do World Championships Division in Argentina, there are a total of 15 selected.

To learn more or get involved in Special Needs Taekwon-Do NZ please visit www.specialneedstaekwondo.nz