KUGB’s Liverpool Youth Championships April 2019
In early April the USKFI International Squad travelled to Liverpool in the UK to participate in the Karate Union of Great Britain’s Liverpool Youth Championships. This particular tournament which is now in its 16th year is the first on the international calendar for the USKFI. It is a perfect opportunity for squad members to kick start the international competition season and as with all KUGB competitions there’s always a guarantee of high standard Shotokan Karate on display.
International Referee Sensei James Bartly
The USKFI had a total of fourteen competitors representing Ireland at the tournament along with three International referees Senseis Jennifer Prendergast, James Bartley and Bernard Gaffney who assisted with the officiating on the day. There was a good balance within the squad with some of the USKFI's most experienced junior athletes leading the way for the newcomers on the squad. For some of our juniors although this was their very first tournament on the international circuit they were certainly out to impress and that they did!!
International Referee Sensei Bernard Gaffney
In the junior ladies kumite events we witnessed superb performances from all the USKFI ladies. Sophie Farrell, Lisa Meagher and Tori Maher all had very dominant displays. It was a similar fashion in the children’s female kumite events with the Eva Thunder, Malina Petrovshci, and Rachel McEneaney all having very good performances on the mats and gaining vital competition experience. The stand out performers in this event were Anna Louise Lummingkit & Zuzanna Kolodziejska. Both of these young ladies showed very commanding performances in each match to take home a silver and bronze medal respectively. Well done ladies.
Anna Louise with squad coach Sensei David Royle
Next it was on to the boy’s events. The USKFI had four fledglings representing in the 10-11yrs boy’s Kumite event. Noah Smith, Jamie Waters, Aaron Smyth and Conor Meagher all performed superbly and showed a tenacity and determination far beyond their years!! Although no silverware for the boy’s this time around there certainly is a very bright competition career ahead for these young gentlemen.
Zuzzanna with squad coach Sensei David Royle
For the boy’s 12-15yrs Kumite we witnessed Joshua Smith storming through the elimination rounds showing tremendous composure to cement his place in the final. Joshua in a similar fashion to the elimination rounds showed he had nerves of steel in the final. He finished his opponent off with two clinical waza-aris to take the title home for USKF Ireland.
Zuzzanna & Anna Louise show off their silverware
In the Junior Male Kata event we saw a fantastic performance of Gojushiho Sho bag the title for Leon Hoban. Leon had also performed superbly in the Junior Male Kumite event but unfortunately after a nasty knock Leon was withdrawn due to injury and settled for a bronze medal in this event. Each time Leon hits the tatami he continues to impress and once again this was another consistent display from a superb athlete on the very steady ascent in his competition career.
That concluded what was another fantastic trip for the USKF Ireland International squad and sets them up nicely for the many competitions ahead. Throughout the whole duration of this trip it was duly noted how well all these young Karateka represented our organisation and our country. They were respectful, courteous, helpful and extremely supportive of each other. We could not have asked for a better group of students representing our organisation.
The USKFI would like to thank all our members for their continuous support as if it wasn’t for our members we would not be in a position to provide our student’s with these fantastic opportunities. We would also like to thank the parents who travelled with us and supported the team throughout the weekend. Your support is greatly appreciated.