On Saturday 2nd March, York Elite took a 20 strong team to the first competition of 2013, the North West Open. The squad consisted of: Fraser Grice, Sammi King, Rosa Kerr, Cayleigh McCartney, Julia and Anthony Coatesworth, Joseph, Oliver and Charlotte Lines, Cameron and Carly Pringle, Connor and Owen Dunckley, Harvey and Mackenzie Hunter, James McNicol, Paddy Beer, Luke Burnett, Sam Blundell and Hugh Fowler.

Hugh and Charlotte were getting their first taste of competition, the rest are seasoned campaigners. The Competition was massively supported, and due to it being an Open competition with karate-ka from different Associations competing some elimination categories had well over 100 entrants (making it a long day for competitors and travelling support!!).

There were many excellent performances from our young team, with most competitors winning early rounds. In kata, Sammi, Owen, Oliver and Carly were particularly good, reaching quarter or semi-final stages. York Elite had 2 teams in the team kata, with team A coming 5th overall. Rosa, Cayleigh and Julia looked very stylish and co-ordinated, for such a new team, and given the Team Kata was competed for by teams of all ages, grades and males and females together it was a superb performance.

As always, the club was very strong in kumite, Paddy, Harvey, Luke and Anthony reached quarter or semi-final stages, with some very strong efforts.

Oliver had a tough contest, and was well known to the medic by the time he reached the final. His attitude and determination to win was an example to us all. Oliver won ‘Boys Kumite age up to 10’, a really well deserved gold.

Connor again had many tough fights to reach the final of ‘Boys kumite 11-15’. The final was a different story! Against an older and bigger boy, Connor put in a magnificent display. He defended against a barrage of kicks and punches. When the first opening came Jodan Gyaku Tsuki (reverse punch to the head) – Wasari (half point). This was repeated, and the final was over. A fantastic gold medal display, and an early contender for the ‘Moment of 2013’ award.

Many congratulations to all competitors, who showed excellent spirit. And a big thank you to the club supporters and coaches who also travelled across to the Competition. As ever your support and encouragement to the team was invaluable and hugely appreciated by everyone at the club.

Connor Oliver

We would like to mention Connor Dunckley and Oliver Lines especially for their fantastic gold medal winning performances in their kumite divisions. Oss.

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