World Taekwan-Do champ to defend title

Frances Lloyd. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

Taekwon-Do prodigy Frances Lloyd has been chosen to represent New Zealand in Dublin, Ireland in October at the 2017 ITF World Championships.

The 2015 Junior Female Black Belt World Champion and 2016 Junior Female Black Belt World Cup Champion will be defending her title.

In 2016, the 17-year-old competed at the ITF Taekwon-Do World Cup in Budapest where she took gold, silver and best-overall medals.

The Tauranga Girls’ College Year 12 student has been training for a decade with her weekly training consisting of 12-16 hours training per week.

She usually trains Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6.30am, then also trains at other times every day except Tuesdays.

The ITF was founded in 1966 in Korea. There are two types of Taekwon-Do - WTF where athletes compete at the Olympics, and ITF which has a World Championship. Frances prefers to stay with ITF Taekwon-Do.

“ITF Taekwon-Do has tenets that participants abide by,” says Frances.

“Tenets of courtesy, integrity perseverance, self-control and an indomitable spirit. So that’s like my moral compass. Everything I do in life reflects off those tenets.

"At school work I persevere, I have courtesy for my teachers, I have integrity to tell the truth when I don’t know or don’t understand, and have self-control which I can apply anywhere, to home, studies or any other sport I might go into.”

A 59-strong New Zealand ITF Taekwon-Do team has been confirmed for the World Championships comprising of 29 seniors and 30 juniors with results from both contributing towards the overall placing of a nation.

New Zealand was the top country at the world champions held in Italy in 2015, third two years previously in Spain and triumphed when the world champs were held in Wellington in 2011.

“Our last training camp was this weekend just gone,” says Frances.

“We went to the Waiouru Military Camp so we got to have a peek into what the army do. I’ve always wanted to go into either into the navy or the army. I would like to be able to help people and to understand how to interact with and support the people around me.”

The city of Dublin in Ireland will host the World Championships October 9-16 with around 1200 competitors from over 50 nations expected to compete.

Frances has set up a fundraising page to help fund her to the world championships.

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