Ronnie Branca commence Taekwondo training in 1975. Ronnie Branca commenced teaching his daughters Teresa, Bernadette and Jasmine Branca the art of Taekwondo from a young age of 3 yrs old. From 1997 Teresa competed at many state, national and international level competitions. Ronnie travelled the world as the Massage Therapist for the Australian and Olympic Taekwondo Teams. The Branca Family also played roles in Taekwondo at state and national organisational level, with Ronnie and Teresa Branca being two of the founding members for the Victorian Junior Development committee which has now branched out, and its frameworks adopted nation wide. Sharon Branca also worked for Taekwondo Victoria. Ronnie was the Sports Development officer for Taekwondo in Victoria including work with the Taekwondo in Schools Program and State Tournament Director for many years.
Sunbury Heights is the birthplace of Branca Taekwondo. Our Founding members were first introduced to Taekwondo in 2004 via the “Kickin’ it Taekwondo Program” run by Teresa Branca during school lunchtimes at Sunbury Heights Primary School. This program grew in popularity attracting the attention of the Minister of Parliament who came to visit an congratulated us on our support for the “Go For Your Life” campaign. At this time Bernadette & Jasmine Branca commenced training at the National High Performance Centre with Olympic Coach, Dual Olympian and Olympic Silver Medalist Daniel Trenton.
The students of Sunbury Heights Primary School expressed a great interest in becoming taekwondoists. From there OTC— Sunbury Heights Branch was formed. Teresa Branca began teaching a class (founding members included: Kristina Mengarelli, Jordan and Alex Omozusi, Bailey & Tori Lucchiari, Tahnee Fox, Caitlin & Daniel Pitts, Katherine, Christopher & Sam Greenaway, Shane & Timothy Trewin, Millicent Dickson, Jake McIntyre, Braydon Stapleton, David stadurski, Michael Hooper, Zena Gregory, Annalyse Naimo & Kurt Dummet, ) after school at the Sunbury Heights Primary School in 2005.
In 2006, Ronnie Branca and Teresa Branca joined together to form Branca Taekwondo. Now a family club, the club outgrew the Primary School, and relocated to its current premises at the Learmonth Street Scout Hall. A second branch was opened in Micklham Community Centre later that year (founding members at the Mickleham Branch included: Maggie & Patrick O’Connell, and Erin & Jack Stonehouse) and by 2007 we had outgrown the Mickleham community centre and relocated the Mickleham branch to its current location at the Craigieburn Guides Hall.
In 2006, Bernadette and Jasmine Branca became members of the Beijing and Beyond Athletes program. In 2007 the program became an Australian Institute of Sports based program , and they moved to Canberra, ACT to live and train there, with a gruelling schedule of 3 training sessions a day. They competed at International Events against some of the toughest in the world. Jasmine won a bronze medal at the Dutch Open, and Bernadette won a silver at the Vietnam Open. Both of them have been earmarked for London 2012. In 2006 Bernadette had an unfortunate knee injury requiring a knee reconstruction, which she overcame, and came back better than before. In 2007, Branca Taekwondo entered our first sparring team into the Victorian Winter open, all players medaled, we also entered our first Victorian State Championship and we all medalled and qualified for the Nationals. We also entered the 2007 National Championships and Australian Open and all of our team members medalled with four of our players, Madelyn Hargreaves-Bish, Jordan Omozusi, Shane Trewin and Kristina Mengarelli becoming National Champions. Our small club is progressing in leaps and bounds, and we are looking forward to a bright future!