Success at Liverpool’s North West Spirit Taekwondo Team at the 2014 GTI National Open Championships. The team competed at the tournament in Cheltenham on 6th July. 25 team members took part, and they brought home an impressive haul of 28 trophies and medals - 10 gold, 5 silver and 13 bronze.
The day began well, with the team’s novice members winning various medals in the yellow belt division. 6-year-old Matthew Austin kicked his way to gold in peewee sparring; while his mum Michelle Austin, competing for the first time, earned a bronze in ladies heavyweight sparring.
Siblings Dakota (9) and Lincoln Littler (7) were delighted with their bronze medals in girls patterns and boys lightweight sparring, respectively. 15-year-old Mike McCaw made his mark in the heavyweight boys sparring category, beating all opponents to take the gold medal.
9-year-old Olivia Connolly-Dixon dominated the girls blue belt division, demonstrating her technical prowess to win gold in patterns; and giving an impressive, confident performance in sparring to take home yet another gold medal. In the boys blue belt division, Connor Murphy (9) put up a great fight in middleweight sparring to achieve a bronze medal. 8-year-old Joe Southern made an impact with his fast and furious fighting style to secure the gold medal in the peewee category; and his team-mate Matthew Zhu (7) took the bronze.
Matthew’s brother Philip (9) also took home a medal after some great fights in the boys red belt lightweight sparring category. He won the silver, and only narrowly lost out to his team-mate Callum Edwards (9), who gave an excellent all-round performance to achieve the gold in sparring and bronze in patterns. In the red belt ladies division, Sam Foster (22) won a bronze medal in the patterns event, and fought very well to achieve a silver medal in heavyweight sparring.
Liverpool’s black belts added to their team’s success with some excellent performances. In the patterns event, 15-year-old Ethan Calland achieved a bronze medal in the boys category; and in the ladies category, Stef Davies (32) and Lucy Sanders (32) took silver and bronze, respectively.
The ladies were also successful in the black belt sparring event. In the middleweight category, Lucy was the gold medal winner in point-stop style sparring, with Stef achieving bronze; and in continuous style sparring their positions were reversed, with Stef taking the gold and Lucy achieving bronze. Team-mate Jasmine Wahid (28) earned her own success in the lightweight category, earning a silver medal in point-stop sparring.
Instructors Ed Calland (45) and Chris Davies (30) were extremely proud of their team’s performance, including those fighters who just missed out on medals this time: Oliver Rice-Gray (7), Max Erickson (9), Heather Austin (12), Phil Southern (46), Annie Rice-Gray (9) and Joshua Alvers (9).
The North West Spirit team hopes to continue their success at the next tournament, the English Championships in September.