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ITUK Midlands Open Report
Posted by: Jo Auciello
Everyone a winner! By Mr Darren Holmes
After a late night of celebration at Mr Twelvetree’s wedding (congratulations to Darren & Angela), it was an early start for a number of GTUK students heading up to Derby to compete in the 7th Annual ITF/ITUK Midlands Open, hosted by a close friend to the GTUK, Mater Isaac Harry. A total of 14 competitors along with supporting parents and friends met up with GTUK coaches Mr Darren Holmes and Mrs Kay Parker at the Moorways Sports Centre on the morning of 1st April, but it was going to be no April fool’s day for them.
The first medals started to roll in from ring 1 when the Black Belt junior girls Eleanor Hill and Sophie Akerman brought in both Silver and Bronze respectively in patterns. Not to be outdone, the Pee-Wee Black Belt boys on ring 5 soon added to that tally with Gold (Ciaran McCaughey), Silver (Caelan Jackson) and two bronze (Chris Park and Cameron Richardson) in their patterns group. Keen to get into action in the under 10 category were Dermot McCaughey and Oliver Dean and they didn’t disappoint, under pressure in a 2-pattern final (one of choice and one designated) saw Gold for Dermot and a Silver for Oliver. Another Silver came in from Bronwyn Richardson in the Black Belt girls patterns increasing that trophy count and ending the kids patterns categories. Quietly getting on with the job on ring 2, Logan Bedingfield pulled in a Gold in his Black Belt Adult Male patterns category.
Kitted up for sparring now and a re-match from that patterns final between Oliver and Dermot now saw the tables turned in sparring with Oliver picking up Gold and Dermot taking Silver. A tough fought battle in their sparring group resulted in silver for Caelan and Bronze for Chris, adding to their existing collection of trophies. The girls battled on in their sparring categories against some excellent competition. Great coaching from Mrs Parker and performances to be proud of. Results for Ashleigh Kent (Bronze) and Eleanor Hill (Silver). Although not taking a medal placing in her category, Jenna Akerman stepped up to the challenge and gave Lianne Hatcher a run for her money in a demonstration bout. Lianne took gold for her category. Finally, a very patient 14 year old red belt Jason Samuel got opportunity late in the day to mix it with the Juniors Sparring, earning a place in the final. Unfortunately the eagerly awaited final never happened due to the other finalist withdrawing through injury sustained in a previous bout. Although Jason took the gold I know he was looking forward to the showdown, never mind Jason, there’ll be another time!
Overall we scooped up 19 trophies, not a bad days work. Excellent sportsmanship, determination and skill demonstrated making the coaches very proud of you all. The additional training had certainly paid off.
A big thank you to Yvonne Hill in representing the GTUK in officials duties.
A big thank you to Master Harry and his team for organising the event, his hospitality and his trophies nearly as big the kids. Look forward to next year!
A big thank you to parents, family and friends for supporting on the day. Your energy and spirit behind the competitors was fantastic and much appreciated. It was a long day but hopefully you all left feeling very proud of what you have helped us achieve.
And finally a big thank you to our competitors, our GTUK future, just for being brilliant. You are all winners!
Dermot McCaughey – Gold (patterns) & Silver (sparring)
Oliver Dean – Silver (patterns) & Gold (sparring)
Bronwyn Richardson – Silver (patterns)
Caelen Jackson – Silver (patterns) & Silver (sparring)
Christopher Park – Bronze (patterns) & Bronze (sparring)
Ciaran McCaughey – Gold (patterns)
Cameron Richardson – Bronze (patterns)
Jason Samuel – Gold (sparring)
Ashleigh Kent – Bronze (sparring)
Eleanor Hill – Silver (patterns) & Silver (sparring)
Sophie Akerman – Bronze (patterns)
Jenna Akerman – special award Demo sparring
Lianne Hatcher – Gold (sparring)
Logan Bedingfield – Gold (patterns)