“Teaching Taekwondo is how I want to be remembered,” says Roddie Milne who says he would be lost without Llangollen Taekwondo Club:
“I’ve invested so much time and effort into the club. It would be like losing my life savings.”
The 43-year-old father of four set up the club in January 2015 and it has already stormed to success, amassing 55 medals.
But, for Roddie, competition is not just about medals:
“There’s a lot more to be gained from competing in Taekwondo than simply winning medals. You can prove to yourself that you have a real courage, strength and determination.
“With a combat sport, you have to have huge confidence to stand opposite an opponent.”
It all began when eldest son Dylan was three:
“We wanted him to do an activity and we gave Taekwondo a go. I ended up getting involved so I could help him start his gradings – that’s the process of working up the belt system.
“At the beginning, I thought I’d just get the green belt and leave it there…but I got the bug, started winning medals and by then I’d fallen for taekwondo hook, line and sinker.”
He thought about teaching when Dylan declared he wanted to be an instructor at the age of 11.
Roddie earned his black belt in 2010 and set up his own club just five years later so that he could pass it from father to son when his “knees stopped working!”
He now coaches twice a week with Dylan lending a hand. There are some members who even make a 40-minute round trip to attend:
“I absolutely love it. It’s just that sense of changing people’s lives.
“The way I see it, members aren’t investing in taekwondo necessarily, they’re investing in you as a teacher so it’s important to make the sessions fun, in order that people keep coming back, but we also get results.”
His three younger children have all fallen in love with the sport too and love competing:
“It started as a lad and Dad thing with Dylan but the younger ones saw what we were doing and wanted to give it a go. So I guess we’re a taekwondo family now!”
In his view, the number one skill required to be a good coach is patience:
“If you lose your patience, you lose their confidence. You don’t want to crush anyone, you want to encourage them.
“I get huge satisfaction when I see the progress in technique, skills and confidence. They become martial artists and that makes me very proud.”