A profile ofStephane Roth, Great Britain’s Poomse coach 2004/2005 L ess than two years ago he was hardly known outside the Poomse circuit, but Stephane Roth quickly established himself as the man responsible for not only getting the UK’s best competitors to follow his methods, but for bringing far greater success than previously seen! Originally from France, he moved to England and after a period living and working around the UK, he found himself in Liverpool where he presented himself at the llyo Kwan school of Taekwondo. This was the home of European champion Hayley Hudson and the school of many National champions. The school’s chief instructor, Nigel Hudson, was a little taken aback when the new applicant student introduced himself thus: ‘Hello, I’m Stephane Roth and I’d like to be in the National Team’.

If this seemed a little forward and lacking in modesty, Nigel quickly realised that not only was Stephane anything but immodest, but he certainly had plenty of ability. Working with Nigel and alongside Hayley and Nigel Eastham, another top UK Poomse competitor also based at llyo Kwan, Stephane quickly established himself in the top three at the British championships. However, for a man with so much drive and determination this was never going to be enough and within two years he had dethroned the estab-lished champion to become no.1. Subsequently, his skills were quickly recognised when the post of National Coach became vacant and he took to the task of rebuilding the British squad with vigour and relish! Within a very short time he had fully gained the confidence and respect of the top clubs such as the likes of Livingwell (Gatwick), Kang Han (Midlands), Days TKD (Southampton) & Brotherhood (London) to name but a few.

His technical skills are fantastic and his teaching methods while in office as National coach can only be described as revolutionary and were well received by team members. More importantly, here is a man with a very affable personality who was able to get even the most exhausted squad member to want to continue to give more and more, without the need to resort to parade ground rantings and it was not uncommon for the players to find the desire to continue after the session has finished! His almost ‘pied piper’ like ability has seen the biggest ever British squads following him around Europe to various open championships during 2004 and 2005. Events where he gained the best results of the entire squad, which proved that he excelled not only as a player but as an excellent motivational coach. Stephane has now stepped down as National coach but is still involved in helping to train and motivate other talented players. He will however now have more time to concentrate on improving his own standard and he is relentless in his pursuit of perfection and just keeps getting better and better.

He was a player coach at the 2005 European Championships in the 27 to 34 year category and to cap it all off he has just taken gold at the recent British Poomse Championships held by the BTCB in Mansfield earlier this year. This event also served as part of the selection process for a place at this year’s first ever WTF World Poomse Championships, to be held in South Korea in September. There may still be some way to go before Stephane will be able to secure his place in history by being a team member for that event but somehow I feel that name is destined to on the team sheet come September 2006!

He will be missed as the coach but somehow I have a feeling that some-time in the future he will play a major role again in the National Poomse set up, helping others to fulfil their dreams.

Stephane, we all wish you the best! You are an inspiration to us all.

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