EIGHT students from Cabramatta High School triumphed at the NSW State Open Taekwondo Championships recently — bagging 11 medals between them.
It was the first time any high school had entered its students in the event, which was held at the State Sports Centre on August 10.
Lyn Nguyen, the school's learning support head teacher, said the success was the result of an innovative program introduced into the school last year by national taekwondo champion Terrence Fernandez, as well as the school's PDHPE head teacher Joy McElligott.
"The eight students competed in a range of events from sparring, poomsae [patterns] and speed board breaking," she said.
"Their achievement was outstanding considering taekwondo was offered as a Tuesday afternoon sport only last year."
Students not only learnt new skills but were given the opportunity to get graded and attain their belts.
Year 9 student Marijana Trkulja said it was a great program with many benefits.
"It gives us an opportunity to try something new, get fit and make new friends," she said.
"The coaches are very inspiring and motivational.
"And they're part of the reason that makes us want to come back every lesson and try our hardest to succeed."
In the lead-up to the event, the students sold roast beef rolls at two of the school festivals in a bid to meet state entry fees as well as purchasing sparring equipment for the team.
The team hopes to attend the national competition in Adelaide.