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Saturday 19th of October 2013, today we have been busy preparing the 12th Open Haaglanden tournament. This year we have really improved the whole setup and the colours yellow and blue have become very visible throughout the whole area. The look and feel of the tournament has improved so much and we are very happy with the professional appearance this new approach has given us.

Around 10 o’clock at night the whole tournament area was finished and Pravesh and I made an extra check to see if we hadn’t forgotten anything. Due to our well thought out planning list everything was in order, and we were absolutely ready to start. Meanwhile Master Steve and Ella had left for Schiphol airport to welcome the group of English competitors and to make sure they would arrive safely at their hotel.

Sunday the 20th of October: we really had to get up very early. We were very excited to start the day: the Open Haaglanden tournament has grown so much these past years, and the field of 350 international competitors  from countries such as; England, Georgia, Tsjech, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and of course the Netherlands has become very impressive. Apart from this, we have a group of 40 qualified referees and judges and 50 very enthusiastic volunteers, without whom the entire tournament would not have been possible. So I would certainly like to thank these wonderful people.

We were very happy to see that Master Steve Zondag, Master Willy van de Mortel and Master Wijnand Tapilatu were able to join us, and they were greeted ceremonially at the opening of the tournament.

Master Nicholls, who has the 8th dan degree, the Secetary General of the ITF Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa organisation and president of UK ITF would arrive at the tournament a little later due to his prior obligations at a seminar and black belt degree exams in the UK. When he arrived at Schiphol airport, Ella Zondag and Ronald Vielvoije were there to meet and welcome him and take him to the Open Haaglanden.  When he arrived the tournament was stopped to properly welcome Master Nicholls. We were very honored with this special guest and Master Nicholls was given a small token of our appreciation. For most of the competitors the arrival of Master Nicholls was a very welcome surprise.

Master Nicholls then proceeded to hand out 2 prizes, one to the youngest competitor (6 years old) and one to our oldest competitor (68 years old). His short speech that followed was very inspiring and lifted the spirits of all Taekwon-Do minded people in the building. After this speech, we greeted and rapidly got on with the competitions. This had been a very special moment during the day and we are very proud of this.

The whole tournament went quite well, and I have only seen lots of happy faces. The organization received many compliments. Reflecting upon the whole event we are very pleased and we are currently already looking forward to next year’s tournament!

I would really like to thank everyone involved for all the help, without you this would have never been possible.

The kindest and very sportive regards,

Ron Dijkhuizen Organisator
Pravesh Lakhsminarain Coördinator

Written by: Ron Dijkhuizen Organisator/ Pravesh Lakhsminarain Coördinator - 28th October 2013

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