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30 medals in Sardinia for Gassors Taekwon-do Wales!
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After months of planning and excitement, 54 students and family members including Gassors Taekwon-do Wales Instructor Mrs Gassor-Jones were eager and ready to attend their first International tournament as a team, the Mediterranean Open Championships in Sardinia, Italy.

On Saturday 4th February everyone from Gassors Taekwon-do met at the clubs head office, the Martial Arts and Fitness Centre.  After everyone was given their new Gassors Taekwon-do green welsh t-shirts, information packs and weekend itinerarys everyone was ready to board the coach for the long journey to Stansted airport. After receiving goody bags with treats for the journey Mrs Gassor-Jones went through the information packs and everyone was in good spirits... although some were a little disappointed to be missing the snow that had just begun as we left Newport! A Taekwon-do quiz, a Taekwon-do crossword for everyone and a raffle all helped the journey fly by and before we knew it we were at the airport.

At the airport everyone from Gassors Taekwon-do met with Miss Burridge and students from UKITF region 7 and Mr and Mrs Richards and students from UKITF region 4.  We all travelled together from London Stansted to Cagliari and arrived late Saturday afternoon. After transfers to the hotel everyone was given their rooms and was registered ready for Sundays tournament. We then all set off in search of a restaurant which was proving quite difficult with 54 of us to feed, but luckily after a bit of persuasion and bartering with a local restaurant, we all had a lovely buffet meal together and then had an early night ready for the competition.

The tournament day had arrived and everyone from Gassors was ready for action and all 28 competitors along with our supporters looked smart in their Welsh t-shirts. Students from Italy, Belgium, Russia, Spain, the Philippines and England were all at the tournament and after the Umpires & Coaches meeting the tournament was ready to begin. Other members and families back home in Wales including Chief Instructor Master Gary Gassor were texting to wish Gassors luck and were eagerly waiting to watch and support our club via the web cam which was being streamed live through the internet for people to watch.

The tournament started off really well for Gassors with 5 from a possible 13 competitors competing in Patterns winning medals (1 Silver & 4 Bronzes). Everyone gave a good effort and everyone including Mrs Gassor-Jones was especially impressed with Katie Ford who was outstanding at her patterns and came away with the Silver medal.

It was the Sparring categories that everyone was most looking forward to and once the patterns were finished it was time for the Sparring to begin with Mr Aaron Gassor being one of the first on for Gassors. Everyone was excited to see Mr Gassor fight after him having a 3 year break from competing. Mr Gassor put up a great fight against the talented Spanish competitor Mr Christian Oriolani 5th degree, especially in the first round but Mr Oriolani came back strong in the second round and won the match. Mr Gassor gained some great experience and everyone was proud when he collected his Silver medal.

The Sparring continued throughout the day and all 28 sparring competitors from Gassors put in good performances and represented Gassors and Wales brilliantly. The Sparring medal total by the end of the day was another 22 medals for Gassors (now 27 with the patterns medals) and we still had the team events in the evening to go too!

UKITF Coach Mr Richards kindly invited Gassors members Mr Liam Rossiter in to the UKITF Junior Boys team and Mr Aaron Gassor and Mr Arron Rose into the UKITF Adult Male team. The UK crowds were cheering excitedly for the team events which were Italy Vs UK for the Junior team and Spain Vs UK after the Spanish team won Italy. The Junior Boys team went first and we were overjoyed when Liam won the first round. The other 4 UKITF team members (Jake, Adam, Billy and Sam) all went on to put in fantastic performances and the UKITF Junior Boys came away with the Gold! Next up was the UKITF Adult Male team, Mr Sam Richards, Mr Gassor and Mr Rose all secured draws for the team and Mr Simon Richards and Mr Danny Welland lost their rounds but fought really well. The UKITF Male team came away with the Silver.

 After a superb day Mrs Gassor-Jones got everyone from Gassors together and everyone applauded each competitor for their great performances and efforts. A special mention was also given for Joshua Taylor who at only 5 years old was the youngest to compete from the club. Mrs Gassor-Jones then revealed that the total medals won by Gassors were 30 medals... 8 Golds, 9 Silvers & 13 Bronzes!

Monday and Tuesday were free days for us to explore Cagliari and take in the sights before returning back to the UK and Wales late Tuesday night.

Myself and everyone at Gassors Taekwon-do would like to say thank you to Silvia Farigu for hosting a very good and organised tournament, everyone had a great time and learnt so much. A big thank you also goes to Ashley Nicholls and Miss Kerry Burridge for their help, advice and organisation with the trip and to Mr Mark Richards and Mrs Wendy Richards for their coaching and support.

I would personally like to thank Shaun Jeffries for organising the sponsorship for Gassors to have the welsh t-shirts and would like to say a massive thank you to all Gassors students and families for their time, effort and continuous support.

The full list of Gassors medal winners were:

 

Gold medals:

Adam Reed Gold Sparring

Alun Davies Gold Sparring

Arron Rose - Gold Sparring

Ayrton Mullins Gold Sparring

Jamie Yung Gold Sparring

Liam Rossiter Gold Team Sparring

Shaun Jeffries Gold Sparring

Tomos Sharwood Gold Sparring

 

Silver medals:

Aaron Gassor Silver Sparring & Silver Team Sparring

Alex Forehead Silver Sparring

Arron Rose Silver Team Sparring

Chris Thomas Silver Sparring

Connor Davies Silver Sparring

Jack Taylor Silver Sparring

Katie Ford Silver Patterns

Milly Taylor Silver Sparring

 

Bronze medals:

Alex Gould Bronze Sparring

Arron Rose Bronze Patterns

Chris Thomas Bronze Patterns

Dana McAvoy Bronze Patterns & Bronze Sparring

Ellis Murphy Bronze Sparring

Georgia Southway Bronze Sparring

Isobel Southway Bronze Sparring

Jessie Taylor Bronze Patterns

Katie Ford Bronze Sparring

Liam Rossiter Bronze Sparring

Ryan Davies Bronze Sparring

Sam Taylor Bronze Sparring

 

A big well done also goes to the following students who all performed brilliantly: James Shaw, Joshua Taylor, Mark Sharwood, Michael Williams and Ryan Gane.

Gassors Tournament Team are now looking forward to and preparing for the UKITF Welsh Championships on Sunday 19th February, 2012 with 42 competitors taking part.

 

To view more photos from the Mediterranean Open Championships via the Gassor''s Taekwon-do website please visit the following link: http://www.mafcmartialarts.com/photo-gallery.html 

Written by: Mrs. Leanne Gassor-Jones - 17th February 2012

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