Leeanne Royle receives the Charles Naylor Memorial Trophy for the Most Outstanding Child Competitor from KUGB Chief Instructor Sensei Andy Sherry 8th dan
Ryan Cullen (right): Joint Third in the Boys' 10-11 Year Kumite
Evan Hickey (second from right): Joint Thirdin the Childrens' Ippon Kumite
USKFI Chief Instructor Sensei Michael Sherlock with senior KUGB Instructors (l to r) Sensei Frank Brennan 7th dan, Sensei Jim Brennan 7th dan, Sensei Andy Sherry 8th dan and Sensei Bob Poynton 7th dan.
The USKFI had a tremendously successful day at the 45th KUGB National Championships last weekend. The competiton is held in the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and despite the only entering for a second year, the USKFI certainly made its mark.
Several competitors got through to the last eight of their events, notably newcomer Zara Daly, who performed impressively throughout the eliminations of the 3rd Kyu and Above Kata to be pipped to the post for a place in the finals. In the Senior kumite events, Vaidas Gelezele, Eleanore Coates and Emer Keane fought several rounds each during the eliminations and just missed out on being put forward to fighting the seeded competitors. In fact, several of the seniors surpassed their personal bests in both kata and kumite, making it through several of the elimination rounds.
Ryan Cullen fought well through the elimination rounds of the Boys’ 10-11 Years Kumite events, eventually coming away with Joint Third. Similarly, Evan Hickey continued his run of success in the Children’s Ippon Kumite event to also gain Joint Third place.
Leeanne Royle had a tremendously successful day. Hot on the heels of her recent success at the USKFI National Championships, she stormed her way through the eliminations of the Girls’ 10-11 Years Kumite, fighting with a relaxed attitude and maturity beyond her years. After several rounds of the 3rd Kyu and Above Kata, Leeanne also made it through to a place in the finals.
In the kata finals, Leeanne performed a sharp and strong kata Empi and was narrowly beaten to second place by a single point, finishing Third. In the kumite finals, she fought extremely well against a much bigger opponent and, despite a heavy knock to the chest, went on the win the title with two sharp gyaku-tsukis.
In light of her successes, the KUGB Technical Committee decided to award Leeanne the Charles Naylor Memorial Trophy for the Most Outstanding Child Competitor. This special award (which was a complete surprise to Leeanne!) was award by KUGB Chief Instructor Sensei Andy Sherry 8th dan in a special ceremony at the end of the Championships. A fantastic day for Leeanne.
Coaches Michael Sherlock and Pat Keegan were delighted with the squad’s performance and to have so many personal bests and medal positions are well deserved as the USKFI heads in to its 10th year.