She has multiple world titles and in a very physical sport which includes sparring she is nicknamed ‘Mouse’.
But don’t let her diminutive stature fool you as Manurewa’s Melissa Timperley has arguably the most powerful reverse heel kick in the world. In fact she sometimes gets points deducted in competition for kicking too hard.
Timperley, 22 who is studying Sport & Rec at AUT Is a world champion at ITF Taekwon-Do and will be one of the key athletes for the for the New Zealand team as they start their build up towards the world championships in Jesolo, Italy in May this year.
At the previous world champs the team finished third at Benidorm, Spain while two years earlier they were the winning nation at the tournament which was held in Wellington.
Aside from a very intense and tough training regime under the guidance of Master Paul McPhail at the Paul M Gym in Papakura, Timperley now has to raise the finance to make it to Italy and the world champs. Over the years her parents have been essential when it comes to funding trips around the world, however for this trip she’s still needing to come up with around $7000.
The same goes for the other 50 plus competitors in the senior and junior team including previous world championships medalists such as Carl Van Room, Mark Trotter, Estelle Speirs, Ethan Parker and Brendan Doogan amongst others.
“I have a sparkmypotential as a start to raise funds. Obviously it’s difficult to raise the money to travel and my parents have been fantastic supporters of me, but I can’t rely on them all the time. I love representing New Zealand and love competing at the top level. So far competing in the sport I love has given me the opportunity to travel the world. It costs, but it also gives me amazing experiences and confidence and who knows where it could eventually lead me, maybe stunt work in the future. I’m not sure,” says Timperley.
Other athletes are working to pay for their trip to the world champs or using savings, plus other forms of fundraising.
There are four core events: Patterns; Sparring; Power Test; Special Technique. Within each of these events there are both individual and team categories. The categories are further split into junior (under 18) and senior (over 18) classifications, and there are separate male and female divisions. In the case of individual patterns, competitors are further classified by black belt rank, and individual sparring is split into six weight divisions. In addition to the four core events there is also Pre-arranged sparring, which is a pairs competition that has only junior and senior classifications
The world championships will be held 27-31 May 2015 at Jesoio, Italy with nations such as Poland, Argentina and Germany regarded as New Zealand’s biggest rivals for medals. New Zealand also has a strong junior team which will compete at the tournament.
The Kiwi teams have their own personal training regimes along with weekly trainings in Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington as well training camps each month in the lead up to the world championships.
Men: Allistair Villiers (Legacy, St Johns, Auckland), Brendan Doogan (DSP. Papatoetoe, Auckland), Carl Van Roon (Legacy, Auckland), Daniel McMillan (DSP, Mangere, Auckland), Joshua Campbell (Tribal, Otahuhu, Auckland), Mark Trotter (Legacy, Birkdale, Auckland), Mitchell Leong (DSP Papatoetoe, Auckland), Ogy Kabzamalov (Glenfield, Auckland), Riley Phillips Harris (Legacy, Kerikeri), Sean Neary (Legacy, Greenlane, Auckland), Calum Woodill (Waikanae Strike), Dane Canton (SCTA, Palmerston North), Devon O’Connor (PNTA, Palmerston North), Kane Baigent (PNTA, Palmerston North), Michael Davis (PNTA, Palmerston North), Nathan Bowden (SCTA, Palmerston North), Wesley Filiki (Pilsung, Wellington).
Women: Courtney Weir (Paul McPhail Gym, Papakura, Auckland), Courtney Church (Paul McPhail Gym, Papakura, Auckland), Angel McCreedy (DSP, Papatoetoe, Auckland), Georgia Moore (DSP, Manurewa, Auckland), Jackie Geurts (Legacy, Auckland), Kara Timmer (HWA Rang, Henderson, Auckland), Melissa Timperley (Paul M Gym, Papakura, Auckland), , Phillipa Henry (Legacy, Auckland), Roisin Giles (Warrior TKD, Auckland), Shylene Singh (Paul M Gym, Papakura, Auckland), Toni Moki (Paul M Gym, Papakura, Auckland), Kara Timmer (HWA Rang, Tauranga), Suzanne Patterson (Pilsung, Wellington), Alexandra Couling (Warrior, Auckland).