Leeanne Royle during the finals of the Girls' Under 5'3" Kumite event which she went on to win, along with the Girls' Under 16 Kata event, making her Grand Champion
Erris Keane performs kata Sochin during the finals of the Senior Ladies' Kata event, in which she came 4th
Eleanore Coates performs kata Empi during the finals of the Senior Ladies' kata event, in which she took Bronze
The USKFI had a tremendously successful day at the recent KUGB Shotokan Cup, held in Chesterfield, England. This competition is one of the most highly contested on the KUGB calendar and is an individual kata and kumite competition, open to brown and black belts only.
Continuing on with her fantastic run of wins this year was Leeanne Royle, who won gold in both the Girls’ U16 Kata and the Girls’ U5’3” Kumite divisions, making her a Grand Champion for winning both her events. Her elimination katas were strong and consistent and, having come second in the same kata event last year, had worked hard on her favourite kata to perform an excellent Empi in the final to take this year’s Gold. In the kumite, she fought some tough competitors with, perhaps her best fight being her semi-final fight again the reigning KUGB Champion which was one of the most exciting kumite matches of the day. In the final, Leeanne’s fast gyaku-tsukis were too much for her opponent and she deservedly took home the Gold, having also won the same event last year.
The USKFI Senior Ladies also had a very successful day with both Eleanore Coates and Erris Keane making it through to the final of the Senior Ladies’ Kata event. Eleanore performed a very strong Empi to take home third place, while Erris came fourth with her kata Sochin. It was the first time in a KUGB finals for both these competitors and was very well deserved, with both competitors’ continued hard training paying dividends.
Jordan Canavan, in his first UK competition, fought well to get to the second round of kumite while Leon Hoban, despite his young age, had some excellent fights in his kumite division and performed some excellent elimination katas to just lost out on a place in the finals by a single tenth of a point.
The growing successes of the USKFI teams at UK competitions is down to the very hard work each and every competitor puts in on an often daily basis, the dedication and encouragement of their coaches, Sensei Michael Sherlock and David Royle, and support of parents who tirelessly travel to competitions. Both Senseis Sherlock and Royle were absolutely delighted with their team’s performance which has firmly cemented the organisations growing reputation in the competitive field.