This photo shows the countdown clock to what’s being billed as ‘the biggest free event of the year’, in case you can’t make out the picture, it currently says ’13 days to go’. This is the ‘the tall ships races’, and this year they will be stopping off at Hartlepool, my home town, for 4 days. Our town of 90,000 people is expecting up to a million visitors.
Needless to say that this is a really big deal and the local authority and its partners have been working tirelessly to get the town ready. From developing a brand new transport interchange, to painting double yellow lines on every bit of road they could get there paint brush to. Also, every school in town has had Tall ship themed events to ensure the kids are enthused for the event.
One of the many Tall Ships displays at one of the schools we work at…
Now, you may be wondering what this has got to do with Karate…. Our club, Hartlepool Wadokai will be doing its but for the event, we are the only Martial Arts club in the Hartlepool Sporting Association (HSA) so we’ve been invited to run a karate taster class during the event. With so many people attending the Tall Ships, this has the potential to significantly raise the profile of Karate so we are looking forward to it.
The countdown clock has a double meaning for us too. It’s also a countdown for Amy and I flying out to Japan for the Wado World Cup. The tall ships event runs from 7th August to the 10th and we fly out from Heathrow on 8th… making the next 13 days or so very important.