A QUINTET of local martial artists are gearing up for their biggest tournament of the year in the shape of the 2015 British Tae Kwon-Do Championships.
The youngsters, all members of Cassie Oury’s Children’s School of Tae Kwon-Do incorporating Warwick, Leamington and Wellesbourne, have all been training hard in preparation for Sunday’s championships at Derby Arena.
Eight-year-olds Jordan Gardner from Wellesbourne and Gabriel Butler-Clarke from Warwick – who won gold and silver medals respectively at the recent South East Championships at Guildford’s Surrey Sports Park – will be in action in the green belt boys’ pee wee division as they compete in both sparring and patterns events.
They will be joined in the East Midlands by club-mates and brothers Joseph and Fraser Norton – aged eight and six respectively – who are also competing in patterns competitions in the green belt boys’ pee wee and green belt boys’ tiny tots categories respectively.
Napton’s Jamie Simpson, 16, will also be aiming to impress in the cadets heavyweight division in a competition which attracts around 1,400 competitors in total.
The British Championships will bring mixed emotions for the boys’ instructor Cassie Oury, who is being prevented from attempting to regain her world title in the women’s black belt division after being ruled out through injury.
Cassie won the world crown in 2013 and claimed the silver medal the following year but unfortunately she has not recovered from injury in time in order to try and reclaim top spot this year.
However, Cassie, a 3rd Degree Instructor, says she will have plenty to occupy her thoughts as she watches her students perform and admits she will be more nervous as a spectator than a competitor.
“On a personal level I am gutted to be missing out because having become English and Scottish champion I would love to have challenged for all three titles, but it’s not to be at the moment.
“However, I am very excited about the prospect of watching our local youngsters in action as they have put in months and indeed years of training to reach this stage.
“I am very proud they are able to compete at this level and I will be more nervous for them than if I was competing myself!
“We welcome youngsters from as young as four years old at our classes and this is proof of the talent we have coming through.
“I’m personally now targeting being fully fit for the World Championships which take place in Birmingham in July.”
For more information about the local classes visit www.tagbtigers.co.uk or call 07850 327507.