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22 Medals & 3rd Place Overall for Gassor’s Tournament Team at the Barcelona Challenger Cup 2014!!!
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22 Medals & 3rd Place Overall for Gassor’s Tournament Team at the Barcelona Challenger Cup 2014!!!

After months of planning and excitement, 50 students and family members, including Gassor’s Taekwon-Do Wales Senior Instructor/Coach Mrs Leanne Gassor-Jones, were eager and ready to attend the Barcelona Challenger Cup in Sitges, Barcelona, Spain. The day had finally arrived and on Friday 14th November everyone met at the club’s head office, the Martial Arts and Fitness Centre (MAFC) in Newport, South Wales, ready to board the coach to Bristol airport. After everyone was given their information packs, weekend itinerary’s and boarding passes on the coach, Mrs Gassor-Jones went through all the information and gave a few surprise treats: Euros for everyone to enjoy a meal together, free travel games for all team members, a free raffle of chocolates and sweets for everyone, a free word search with prizes for different age groups, a free game of bingo with 5 travel games and 50 Euros as prizes, and mints and toffees for on the plane! The coach journey to the airport flew by, and before we knew it, we were at the airport!

After a smooth check-in at the airport, we all travelled from Bristol to Barcelona and arrived Friday evening. After our coach transfer to the hotel, everyone was given their rooms and everyone was really pleased with their hotel rooms, facilities and great location, which was in the Port area of Sitges, approximately 30 minutes from the centre of Barcelona. Everyone then had a few hours free time, before calling it a night to get some sleep ready for the tournament the next day.

The tournament day (Saturday 15th November) finally arrived and everyone from Gassor’s was ready for action! On the way to the tournament there were a mixture of emotions of nerves and excitement. We all arrived at the venue and the tournament quickly filled with students and suporters from many different countries. The tournament started with the Black Belt categories and all five of our Black Belt team members did really well in their respective categories with most winning medals or placing just outside the medals. After the Black Belts had finished their categories it was the colour belts turn. All of our colour belt team members did really well with a number of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals being won. The tournament ended with a medal presentation to all of the students who won medals, with them standing on podiums and having plenty of photos taken!

All 24 team members did fantastic and everyone had a really great day. The tournament was a great opportunity for team members to gain experience by competing against different countries with different abilities and fighting styles. Gassor’s team won a brilliant 22 medals in total... 7 Gold medals, 8 Silver medals and 7 Bronze medals! Gassor’s Taekwon-Do Wales also came 3rd club overall and Mrs Gassor-Jones was really pleased with how well each team member performed and supported each other. Special mentions for the day definitely go to Owen Powell for his ‘technique of the day’ - a brilliant controlled Spinning Hook Kick to the head! And Georgia Southway whose Sparring performances can only be described as ‘Perfection!’

We are very proud of all 24 team members who took part, and the medal results were:

Gold Medals:
Caitlin Nail – Sparring
Ellis Murphy – Sparring
Georgia Southway – Sparring
Jamie Yung – Sparring
Kai Stewart – Sparring
Liam Rossiter – Sparring
Matiss Jekalis – Sparring

Silver Medals:
Courtney Kyte – Sparring
David Perry – Sparring
Emilio Thacker – Sparring
Lexie Smith – Sparring
Liam Rossiter – Patterns
Owen Powell – Sparring & Patterns
Tomos Sharwood – Sparring

Bronze Medals:
Arron Rose – Sparring
Ethan Kyte – Sparring
Jake Rogers – Sparring
Kian Luton – Sparring & Patterns
Robert Howell – Sparring
Sam Chand – Sparring

A big ‘WELL DONE’ also goes to: Craig Radford, Gwyn Blackmore, Harri Radford, Myles Bassage-Morgan and Owen Carter, who also all gave brilliant performances.

After the tournament, Mrs Gassor-Jones arranged for everyone to have a lovely celebratory meal together, and after the meal many of Gassor’s partied away in a few of the bars and clubs in the fantastic Port area. Plenty of fun and great memories were had by all! 

To make the most of our trip and time in Barcelona, on the Sunday, Mrs Gassor-Jones organised for us to have our own coach tour of Barcelona together. In the morning we all went to Barcelona Football Club’s Camp Nou Stadium, followed by a trip to Barceloneta beach for lunch and a look around. After lunch, we had a tour of the city with an English speaking tour guide. We visited many places including: Montjuïc, Mirador de l''Alcalde, Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló. Everyone had a brilliant day and it was made all the better with the lovely sunny weather too. In the evening everyone had a great time back at the Port, with some of the younger team members relaxing and having fun in the hotel pool and Jacuzzi’s, and some having another night of partying!

On the Monday, it was time for us to make our way back home. Many students and family members said they could have easily stayed longer and many requests were made for a return trip back!

Mrs Gassor-Jones would like to thank everyone who made such a big effort to attend the trip. We are really grateful for the continuous hard work, commitment, effort and support shown by team members and their families... thank you. Thank you for your expenditure for the trip too.

Mrs Gassor-Jones and everyone from Gassor’s would also like to give a big THANK YOU to Mr Sharwood and Mr Rose for helping with the coaching at the tournament. We really appreciate the time, effort, dedication and enthusiasm they both always put in.

A final thank you goes to the UK ITF for the invitation to this International tournament and Master Perez for hosting a great tournament.

Everyone from Gassor’s had an amazing weekend!

Go Go Gassor’s Go Go!

Written by: Miss Emma Gassor - 10th December 2014

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