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SGTKD take part in the British Championships
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It was 4.2degrees at 6.30am on a Saturday morning....what on earth were we doing up and out at that time? Oh yes, it is the day of the UKITF British Championships at the NIAC in Cardiff and members and supporters of Stoke Gifford TKD were on their way from Bristol to help and compete.

First task of the day was to to set about laying down the mats and setting up the eight rings that were going to be a hive of activity for the whole day. The arena was an excellent venue with plenty of space and seating.

Having collected their respective “umpire” and “event staff” t-shirts, Miss Burridge collected together the team that would aid in the smooth running of the day. Instructions were given, rings assigned, questions answered and the competition started.

It was like a military operation and very soon all the rings had all ages and grades competing in patterns. Laura and Sarah came away with gold and silver having done two patterns per round, a great, though nerve wracking experience! Samir got bronze and soon the youngsters followed with Billy getting gold, Connie silver and Lucie, Charmaine and Phoebe bronzes.

Sparring came next and Sarah put up a great fight against a lady from Spain to achieve silver. Samir followed and also fought brilliantly to get gold. Once again the youngsters did the club proud and came away with a great haul... Charmaine got silver, Esme gold, Lucie bronze, Connie gold and Dominik gold.  A huge well done to Chloe and Harry, they gave their all and put in performances to be proud of.

Once all the adults and juniors had finished sparring, power took place. The qualifier was side kick and from there various techniques sorted out the medals with Laura achieving gold and Sarah and Samir silver (along with a few bruises!).

There was a brief interlude as Master Nicholls introduced some of the UKITF committee members and some of the Masters that had come from overseas with their teams to participate in the championship.

After they had finished helping as umpires, the black belt “boys” then took to the rings. It was a large category for their patterns but  “The Giff” did brilliantly, coming away with all four medals – Kieran gold, Ben C silver and Ollie and Joseph bronze.

Sparring was tough and the introduction of the new 12-14 year old categories decided by weight meant a different mix to what the boys had been used to. Nevertheless they rose to the occasion and added to the medal tally with Ben BA getting gold, Callum bronze, Joseph bronze, Ben C gold and Ollie bronze.

The day was finished off by a UK team taking on a team from the Netherlands for an amazing display of sparring! The crowd’s enthusiasm was huge and the roar that went up when the guys from UK won must have been heard all over Cardiff!

Once again the day could not have gone so well without fantastic organisation. To have this massive competition done and dusted in one day is a testament to Miss Burridge’s and the tournament committee’s excellent organisational skills and control throughout the day.  So, many thanks Miss Burridge and glad you hadn’t lost your voice by the end of it! And to Alison for, as always, for working so hard all day with Miss Parker, Ashley and Alison on the top table! Thanks also to Glyn, Salli, Nicky and Vin for manning the laptops and “order of play” on the rings and Jenny, Kevin, Sarah and Laura for helping out in the “holding areas”. 

It is said each time but one of the nicest things about these competitions is the way new friends are made and old friends are re-acquainted, whether they are competitors or supporters.

So, now we are all looking forward to the English in February. See you there!

Written by: Stoke Gifford TKD - 31st October 2012

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