Yesterday our little town on the North East coast of England was privileged to host the 2012 London Olympic Torch Relay as it makes its way around the UK. This is a fantastic was of generating interest in the Olympic Games and is a great way of raising peoples aspirations, especially the younger ones – some of whom will no doubt be future Olympians themselves.
Hartlepool Borough Council had organised the festivities which included a number of live bands etc… at the Maritime Experience on the Marina. This was a huge success with claims of up to 23,000 people, (including 6,000 at the Marina) lining the torch route through the town. This support is fantastic and shows how important sport is to everyone – even those that don’t take part themselves.
It was also great that the inspire athletes were all invited as VIP’s to the event, they were introduced on stage by the Hartlepool Mayor, Mr Stuart Drummond who gave a brief overview of each athletes competition successes – the highlight obviously being Savanna Marshall who is a member of the 2012 GB Olympic Team and favourite for Women’s Boxing. Our club also had two of it’s own represented there, with Sensei Amy and Jasmin who are both part of the inspire program.
For those of you that don’t know, the inspire program is a photography exhibition of successful female athletes from a variety of sports which include Regional, National, European, International and Olympic medal winners. The exhibition will be featured in the Hartlepool Art Gallery and across all the local schools, all of which will help ‘inspire’ more girls/women into sport.
There were opportunities to get some iconic photos too, including with a 1948 London Olympic Torch too!
Thank you to all the organisers, the torch bearers and the crowds for contributing to the electric atmosphere…
We left Hartlepool two hours before dawn (approx 6am) on a very cold, wet and windy Sunday morning (22nd Jan). Ponds Forge in Sheffield was the venue of the 1st English Karate Federation Kyu Grade Karate Championships so, Sheffield was where we were heading!
Apart from being unable to find somewhere to park the mini-bus (gratefully borrowed from Hartlepool College of Further Education) the journey was uneventful. The competitors signed in and got changed, the parents tried to get comfortable on the seating and Lynne and Carl reported to the chief referee to find out where we would be working (Judging) all day. Amy (coach) then briefed the competitors and made sure they were ready for the day.
The day was pretty well organised and was done and dusted in about 9 hours, not bad for such a large entry! I think we could have easily shaved at least an hour off the day if it wasn’t for the usual time-wasting issues at competitions: kids not turning up when they’re supposed to, with incorrect equipment, occasional admin errors etc… but no competition is ever perfect.
This was the second time I’d helped judge at an EKF comp and a first for Lynne and we both thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it was like working in an oven – for 9 hours!!
The three competitors (Lewis, Phil, Bailey) that entered from our club did very well in Kata and Kumite despite the fact that this was the first EKF competition any of them had entered. We entered expecting zero medals, we just wanted to get some competitors on the mat as early as possible so that we had something to work on early in the season.
Results are as follows:
Phil Salmons: 3rd Place – Team Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs
Lewis Muldown: 3rd Place – Team Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs
Lewis Muldown: 3rd Place – Individual Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs -45kg
Bailey Reed: 3rd Place – Team Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs
Bailey Reed: 3rd Place – Individual Kata, Boys 12-13yrs
Bailey Reed: 2nd Place – Individual Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs +45kg
We got back to Hartlepool at about 9.30pm making it a mammoth 15.5 hour day and the longest ‘Karate day’ our trio of competitors have faced so far.
Key Learnings: The competitors need to work on keeping energy and hydration levels constant throughout the day by eating and drinking correctly to ensure peak performance.
Next Event: Wadokai England Squad Training, Saturday 28th January – Leicester; EKF Referee Training, Sunday 29th January, Barnsley
Summary: We were a little disappointed to only field 3 competitors at this event despite having a pretty big club, those that didn’t attend missed a great opportunity to get some time on the mats. There is still a lot of work to do with all three competitors in Kata & Kumite but each performed well and if they keep up the hard work and enthusiasm then the future should be bright for them.
Last weekend a number of club members were in Lisbon, Portugal for the 38th European Wadokai Karate Championships. They were selected as part of the 50 strong Wadokai England Karate Team. The Hartlepool competitors were Carl Jorgeson, Amy Jorgeson, Jasmin Langley & Bailey Reed. They were supported by Sensei Lynne Jorgeson & Sensei Michael Jorgeson who were both Refereeing & Judging at the event and also a number of parents.
The entire England Team performed very well and brought back over 60 medals in all (awaiting exact medal count), the four Hartlepool Wadokai competitors brought back an impressive 14 medals between them. They were 7 GOLD, 2 SILVER, 5 BRONZE.
GOLD – INDIVIDUAL KATA, BOYS, 12-13YRS
GOLD – INDIVIDUAL KUMITE, BOYS, 12-13YRS
GOLD – TEAM KATA, BOYS, 12-13YRS
SILVER – TEAM KUMITE, BOYS, 12-13YRS
GOLD – TEAM KATA, GIRLS, 14-15YRS
SILVER – TEAM KUMITE, GIRLS, 14-15YRS
BRONZE – INDIVIDUAL KATA, GIRLS, 14-15YRS
BRONZE – INDIVIDUAL KUMITE, GIRLS, 14-15YRS
GOLD – TEAM KATA, FEMALE, 18YRS+
GOLD – TEAM KUMITE, FEMALE, 18YRS+
BRONZE – INDIVIDUAL KUMITE, FEMALE, 18YRS+, -60KG
GOLD – TEAM KATA, MALE, 18YRS+
BRONZE – INDIVIDUAL KUMITE, MALE, 18YRS+, +84KG
BRONZE – INDIVIDUAL KATA, MALE, 18YRS+
Us coaches believed that Bailey & Jasmin both had the potential to medal at the event, despite this being their first ever European Championships (or they wouldn’t have been selected) but we were obviously very pleased with the actual results. Both competitors were tasked to train 15-20 hours a week for the past 6 months in preparation, then weekend training camps and competitions on top so they definitely deserve their massive medal haul.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank all of the club members who helped raise funds for the event and also to the other club members who formed an integral part of the athlete support network by keeping the four of us motivated, pushed us that little bit further and gave us a beating when we were too slow in fight training! I’d also like to thank the Sports Coaching staff at Hartlepool College of Further Education for their training advice and the use of their world class Cryospa which all helped to get us older competitors fit for the event.
Not wanting to take this result for granted, we’ve already started planning for next year’s European Championships which are looking to be held in Italy (Rome or Venice). Over the coming months we’ll be pre-selecting potential Hartlepool Wadokai students who can then try for the Wadokai England Team. If you would like to be considered for the squad next year then you should speak to Carl or Amy as soon as possible.
Tonight was the Hartlepool Sporting Association Awards Evening held at the brand new £53 million Hartlepool College of FE Campus in the centre of town. The evening was a chance for the club members to get together (rather than simply the club ‘managers’ at meetings), an opportunity to introduce Mr Alan White, former Head Teacher from Manor College of Technology as an Honorary Chairman of the Hartlepool Sporting Association and also, and perhaps more importantly, to celebrate some successes within each club – something which we all forget to do at times.
Our club was well represented with 16 people attending (instead of training) with a mix of students, parents, committee and instructors. Each HSA club was asked to nominate a person for each award of the night,’Club Sports Star of the Year ‘ and ‘Club Services to Sport award’.
Extract from Amy’s nomination:
Her dedication to Karate is truly inspiring, the club call her ‘The Terminator’ because she never gives up, carrying on past where mere mortals would have given up long ago. In Japanese the term is ‘Fudochi’ or immovable spirit and is a Samurai principle.
The sports star award was very easy to nominate, Amy is by far our most successful competitor with medals at Regional, National, European and World levels.
The Services to Sport award was more difficult. We have so many volunteers at the club that each do a fantastic job, above and beyond what would be expected and all help to contribute day in, day out to the success of the club. The aspect that made the selection easier was the ‘Education and Health Through Sport’ mandate of the HSA. One volunteer stands out above all others with this in mind, our Club Chairman, Vince Dawkins.
Extract from Vince’s nomination:
Vince has been the catalyst for a number of significant changes at the club over recent years. All of which were kick started when he signed up to a Foundation degree in Sports Coaching and Exercise at HCFE. Most notably, Vince introduced lesson plans to the club which are now used in every session without fail.
Vince is also a fully qualified and experienced chef, so added to the nutritional knowledge he has gained in his degree he has been an outstanding source of help to club members, in particular our High Performance competitors.
On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank all the staff at the Hartlepool College of FE for putting on a great awards evening and the fantastic hospitality. I’d also like to thank our club members that attended on behalf of the club.
Tonight some members of the club visited the town’s brand new £53m Hartlepool College of Further Education. The college has only been opened to the public for 3 days so everything is still shiny, and they are still receiving deliveries of some of the kit that will make the place truly world class.
How many college’s have their own aircraft hanger? or Cryospa – as used by the New York Jets and AC Milan?
The building is truly breathtaking and is ideally placed in the centre of town – the views from the top floor are great!
Anyway, as our Karate club is a member of the Hartlepool Sporting Association we have been offered exclusive membership rates to the brand new gym at the college – The Luminary.
The deal is £120.00 annual membership (Paid over 6 monthly direct debit instalments of £20 for the first 6 months), the offer is available until 30th September 2011.
This also includes a free induction, individual training plans, group exercise classes and discounts on Sports Therapy and Beauty Therapy sessions at the college.
This offer is available to EVERY member over 14 years old, and their parents*. For more information please speak to Carl or Vince.
*Under the terms of our club constitution, parents of students under 16yrs old are classed as members.