NATIONAL AAU TAEKWONDO SPORT COMMITTEE
ANNOUNCES ITS’ AWARDS WINNERS AT ANNUAL CONVENTION
Waikoloa Village, Hawaii: The National AAU Taekwondo Sport Committee held its Bi-annual National sport Committee Meeting on Thursday, November 1, 2012 in conjunction with the AAU’s Bi-Annual Convention.
Among the many business matters conducted at this all important meeting was the announcement of the 2012 National AAU Taekwondo District and individual Awards winners. Each year the National Sport Committee acknowledges its top three Districts in athlete registrations as well as the top three Districts in growth. The top individual award, The David G. Rivenes Award, is presented annually to that single individual who has made significant contributions to the National AAU Taekwondo Program that year.
The top three AAU Districts in Taekwondo athlete registrations for the 2011-2012 fiscal/competition years in Rank Order were the Gulf District (#1), the Florida District, and the Maryland District. Accepting these awards on behalf of their Districts were the District Sport Directors from each, Mr. Juan Portal of Houston, TX, Mr. David Turnbull from Sorrento, FL, and Mr. Scott Fiorillo of Bryans Road, MD.
“Each and every year, these three individuals and their respective District Sport Committees are at the top of the leader board”, said Mr. Mike Friello, National Sport Chair for AAU Taekwondo. While the Gulf District maintained its strong position of Number One in the country again this year, The Maryland and Florida Districts simply flip-flopped the Number Two and Three slots. The strong performance of the Florida and Florida Gold Coast Districts is just one of the many reasons we have committed to hosting our National Championships so often in their great state. Together these three gentlemen have formed a triumvirate which is hard to beat and serves as a shining example for the rest of the Program.
Recognizing that all Districts have the opportunity or potential to be Number One in total registrations, the National AAU Taekwondo Program also presents each year its’ GROWTH awards to the top three Districts in registration growth (with a minimum registration of 100 athletes in the prior year). “In this manner, all Districts have the opportunity to share in the success of the Program”, quoted Mr. Friello. This year’s winners include: at Number One, the Florida Gold Coast District under the direction of Gerardo DeJesus whose district grew a remarkable 34.46%, the Central District (Chicago area) under Mr. Robert Valle with a growth rate of 29.73% finished second, and rounding out third place was the Florida District under Mr. Turnbull which grew a remarkable 29.72%.
The last and final award presented at this year’s Convention was the David G. Rivenes Award. For those of you unaware, David Rivenes was a former President of the Amateur Athletic Union (all sports) who was instrumental, along with Master Ken Min of Berkeley, CA in introducing Taekwondo to the United States. Together they implemented the original AAU Taekwondo Program which later became the National Governing Body for Taekwondo. Each year we present our David Rivenes Award to that single individual who has contributed the most towards our success that year.
Quite often, there are many variables that go into the selection process for this award. Past award winners have made significant contributions in the fields of event management, technology, athlete development, etc. And past award winners included Ken Min himself, Moo Yong Lee, and our current Chair Mr. Friello. This year’s recipient is National Head Coach, Greg Tubbs, from Plano, TX.
“During these hard economic times the past three years, the AAU Taekwondo Program has managed to maintain its position as the largest Olympic style grassroots Taekwondo Program in the country! It is through the hard work and dedication of our grassroots personnel in the field that we have been able to sustain and grow our numbers.
2012 marked a significant year in our International work as well, says Mr. Friello. Most notable among our work this past year was the MOA signed with the Kukkiwon providing the National AAU Taekwondo Program with the recognition as a bone fide Dan certifying body of this prestigious organization and our diplomatic mission to Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan Olympic Committee both stories are available in our New Archives on www.aautaekwondo.org.
“When I first approached Mr. Tubbs with the opportunity to travel with me to Afghanistan, he literally jumped at the chance said Mr. Friello. I don’t believe there are many people who would volunteer to place themselves ‘in harm’s way’ the way Greg did. It is precisely this kind of dedication to the art, the sport, and our Program that made Mr. Tubbs the overwhelming favorite for this award. With leadership such as embodied by all our award recipients, the AAU Taekwondo Program shall continue to grow and thrive for many years to come.”