The Shoujin squad did not disappoint at the first comp of the year, showing the country how its done at the EKF Kyu grade championships in Sheweffiled on Sunday 15th Jan 2017. Taking a team of just ten athletes, the squad returned with an impressive 6 gold and 4 silver medals, setting the car incredibly high. First to set the tone was Taumantas Kantaravicius of NSK, taking gold in male kata 12-13 years. Followed shortly after by Jorunas ( Basher) Gorelcenka from DSK narrowly missing out on gold to take silver in male 9yrs and under kata. Then a spectacular gold from Domantas Stankus of DSK in the Junior Male (16+) Kata category against some tough competition. Then a fantastic three rounds of performances saw DSKs Danielius Pavilonis and Mantas Gorelcenka against each other in the final of cadet male kata, defeating the curreny England team member to the top spot. Danielius took gold and Mantas,(who only just moved into this 14-15 year category, turning 14 two weeks ago,) took silver. All three are shown with England kata coaches Jon Mottram and Aimee Sell, along with Head coach Tony Solley and Coach James Francis.
There was some disappointment in kumite for some both with decisions and performance showing there is plenty more in reserve going into the year, but top performances from DSKs Rebecca Popescu and Martyna Griskeviciute, also topping their Female up to 5th Kyu kumite category, with Martyna taking gold and Rebecca the silver. A fantastic Gold from DSKs Eimantas Puzneckis in male cadet 14-15 up to 5th kyu kumite, then a narrowly missed top spot for Domantas Stankus taking silver in Male junior 16+ kumite 4th kyu and above. A clinical performance from NSKs JJ Francis saw a well deserved gold, great to get JJ in the mood for his England appearance in Bulgaria in February. The teams missed out on the medals with some disappointing referee decisions, but all in all, the team were fantastic, As was the support.
If any student is interested in competing they should attend Shoujin squad training session each month or speak to your club administrator for more information. Happy New Year everyone...I think it will be!