What a busy weekend it was as Quest Taekwondo, Penistone, welcomed over 60 guests to a special seminar with Mike McKenzie. Last week represented 25 years since Mike established the very first Quest Taekwondo Club. The first classes were in Ilkley and Skipton in June 1988, the same year that Taekwondo featured in the Olympic Games for the very first time. At this time Mike couldn’t even drive and was travelling 750 miles a week, catching 4 trains a day, but with the support of his family he persevered to build Quest Taekwondo into the well known club that it is today. The 1988 Seoul Olympic Games had a profound impact and lead to the opening of more Quest venues and the development of the Quest Mission Statement,
To give all Quest members the ability and opportunity to develop to their full potential both as Taekwondoists and people.
It is therefore fitting that, during question time, Mike identified his time as Sports Manager for the 2012 London Olympic Games Taekwondo event as his highest point of his Taekwondo career. It was obviously a very proud moment for him when, after literally closing the doors himself to an empty Excel Stadium last August, he arrived to a standing ovation led by the President of the WTF, Dr. Chungwon Choue, at the after event celebrations.
And his lowest? Failing his Black Belt examination many, many years ago. But then there were 16 patterns (8 Taegeuk and 8 Palgwe) to learn and house bricks to break back then (or not, in this case!).
And what of the future? ‘What are Mike’s ambitions for himself and Quest Taekwondo now?’ asked one participant. To have a Quest athlete at a future Olympic Games. Lots of young ambitious ears pricked up at that point, as the recent series of Quest Olympic seminars has truly inspired this group of young athletes. But it is was also clear from Mike’s other comments that his ultimate goals for Quest haven’t strayed far from his original ideals, "To give all Quest members the ability and opportunity to develop to their full potential both as Taekwondoists and people". We’re sure this will continue for another 25 years. Congratulations Mike, from all your students, past, present and yet to come …..
All proceeds from the seminar were raised for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity in Sheffield and the total raised on the day was a very respectable £760. Rick Simpson has also managed to get this amount matched by Lloyds TSB Bank, bringing the total charitable donation to £1520.
The seminar was then followed by a fabulous night out for Quest Instructors and Committee members at 315 Restaurant in Huddersfield.
And to top off the charity fundraising, the Quest Penistone Ladies got up very early for the Sunday Sheffield Race for Life Charity Run. No small feat for those who were also out the night before! You can probably spot which ones they were in the photo below ….