Juliana started TKD after recently moving to Ireland from Lithuania. Like many, her aim was to build confidence, make friends, and learn Martial Art skills.
This was particularly the case for Juliana as she moved here with very little English, and the universal language of sport was key to her meeting new friends.
Fast forward to 2018, Juliana was certainly developing and coming into her own, but was still finding her true inner confidence.
Even as a red belt, she was often extremely nervous and shy, and competing in Sparring at Tournaments was challenging.
However, with the right people around her and plenty of courage she continued to give her all, and face her fears!
This perseverance paid off as in December 2018 she was promoted to Black Belt and her confidence was building and building!
A few short weeks later, a spot on the Irish National Team in her division became available for the World Championships in Germany 2019.
There are only 3 spots per junior division available to each country at European & World Championships and you must be a Black Belt to compete.
So, with her fresh new Black Belt, Juliana took to the National Squad Session to compete for the last remaining position against 6 other athletes.
Juliana displayed her full array of skills in front of the National Coaches and was selected to compete for Team Ireland at the World Championships in April.
Juliana spent the next 3+ months preparing for the Worlds under the guidance of her coach, Mr Richie Forde, who was once in her shoes as a 14 year year old competing in their first Worlds! Having competed at the highest level for 10+ years, and claiming numerous World & European medals, he understood what it took and was able to guide Juliana in the right direction.
Juliana was given incredible support from the incredible people within our club at East Cork Taekwon-Do along with the local community in Carrigtwohill through fundraising to allow Juliana take on the Worlds best!
Fast forward to April 2019, where Juliana took to the mats with her Irish Dobuk (Taekwon-Do uniform) on her back. She overcame opponents from Chile, Canada, Russia, and Spain while narrowly losing out to the eventual winner from Germany in the semi final to claim a well deserved Bronze Medal 🥉.
Juliana returned to the club to a heros welcome where everyone was incredibly proud of her achievements.
Juliana continues to inspire the future of our the club as an assistant coach, and has a fantastic way with kids.
This is just one of many great stories from our young club with so many more exciting possibilities for the future to come!
We have plenty of young members just like Juliana keen to create stories of their own in the future!