The USKFI squad members reached the pinnacle of the competition season at the last weekend as they travel led to Chalkida, Greece to participate in the 31st European Shotokan Karate-do Championships. The competition which is the most prestigious Shotokan competition in Europe took place over 25th, 26th & 27th of November in the beautiful city of Chalkida. A small but mighty contingent of USKFI members traveled to Greece to represent Ireland at this distinguished event and they certainly put their stamp on the tournament. Click title for full report....
Leon Hoban in action
Squad members Leeanne Royle, Yacine Ghanem, Leon Hoban & Sean O Connor gave a very good account of themselves and performed superbly. Although no medals returned home with the team this time around each of their performances were something to very proud of. We saw Leon make his ESKA debut and what a fine example he sets for all the young up and coming stars we have within the USKFI. Leeanne was a whisker away this time making it to the semi-finals of her event and missing out on a place in the final by a very small margin. Sean narrowly beaten by a single wazari; one match away from winning his sheet to progress to the quarter finals and also a similar fate for Yacine. Although the silverware wasn't flowing this time for the team they each gained something more valuable than any medal and that is the experience of competing at such a high level event.....experience that they will each learn from & carry on to their future competitions. In a competition of such a high standard the margin for error is minute and when the chances come you've got to take them.
Leeanne Royle in action
A special mention for our International Referees Sensei Jim Bartley and Sensei Bernard Gaffney who also traveled with the team to assist with the officiating in the event. Two of our best referees who are constantly striving for perfection in their own field of expertise. We appreciate their efforts and invaluable knowledge & experience they bring to the USKFI.
A big thank you to squad coach Sensei David Royle for all his hard work & dedication to the team supporting & encouraging them throughout the weekend. A special thank you the parents that made the trip to support the team and of course the messages of support received from home. Without the support from the parents and members of the USKFI we would not be in a position to send our team to compete in this fantastic event so once again thank you.
Finally the USKFI would like to congratulate our friends in the KUGB for a fantastic tournament. Superb performances all around and a pleasure to watch.
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