Spirit Taekwondo pty ltd     ACN: 601 211 661     3/13 Dale St, Brookvale, Sydney, NSW, 2100, Australia

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Like many kids in the 1990s, Carly’s journey to becoming a martial artist started with some heroes in a half-shell. Yes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the trigger that lead to Carly ultimately becoming a reserve athlete for the Australian team for both the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Of course, the road to being an Olympic athlete wasn’t smooth. First of all, Carly needed to do a lot of persuading to get her mum to let her start a martial art. To start with, at 10 years old, Carly began a Vietnamese martial art, Viet Quyen Dao, before switching to Taekwondo at 13 years when she met her instructor at high school. Around this time, Sydney was bidding for the Olympic Games and Taekwondo was announced as being an Olympic sport for the first time, which was highly motivating for Carly.

Carly’s competitive career in Taekwondo is impressive. She’s a 15 times NSW State Champion, 12 times Australian National Champion (fly and bantam weight), and represented Australia at numerous international competitions. This includes US, Dutch, Korean (Silver), Spanish and Canadian Opens (Bronze - Junior), Asian Championships, World Cup, World Championships, Commonwealth TKD Games and Junior World Championships (Quarter Finalist). Her highest achievement was earning a position as Reserve Olympic Athlete and Program Squad Member for both the Sydney 2000 (under 49kg) and Athens 2004 Olympic Teams (49-57kg).

The challenges to reach the Sydney Olympic team were significant. Carly had to train hard through her teenage years, juggling school work and avoiding many of the temptations, like partying, through her early adult years. After the Sydney Olympics, Carly needed to come back from both physical andmental wellness challenges that training had put on her body. “Finding the motivation and drive to try again for a spot on the Athens 2004 team was a tough road,” she says.

Today, it’s instructing that gives Carly a reason to continue her Taekwondo journey. “I had to take a leap of faith to start Spirit Taekwondo Newcastle and believe in myself as an instructor. Instructing has taught me more about myself and the martial artist that I am. It is a never-ending journey, seeking knowledge and internal growth.”

Seeing this growth in students is very rewarding for Carly. “One of the biggest misconceptions people have of martial arts is that we teach or encourage violence. Actually, our art teaches us to be the peaceful warrior. With the training comes the physical and mental growth.” For Carly, having parents see the benefits for their child is the thing that keeps her inspired now, rather than competitive goals.

As well as running Spirit Taekwondo Newcastle, Carly is a support worker and runs six-week self defence programs for women at Got Your Back Sista, a charity based in Newcastle.


Spirit Taekwondo pty ltd     ACN: 601 211 661     3/13 Dale St, Brookvale, Sydney, NSW, 2100, Australia

Spirit Taekwondo pty ltd

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