The Central England Championships 2018



What a fiasco with people signing up and pulling out then others coming in. People asking for coach seats, cancelling coach seats, denying even asking for coach seats and the bulk of this done over the final two weeks to the comp. I have never had to rewrite our running sheets so many times. Things are going to change and I will leave it at that.


Dokan = Top club, WOW. As our medal tally was well down on last year I thought we were not in the running for this accolade but with the comp being so busy the trophies must have been more spread out. With just shy of 1100 entries from the bulk of Britain’s top competition squads it meant an incredibly high standard, add to that huge sections, some with over 50 students entered and you have the ingredients for a top-quality tournament. What you need to complete this recipe is a fabulous venue and a top-drawer organiser and this is exactly what we got. With the eight areas working almost none stop all day and a great team of table staff and officials, they managed to get through the sections in record time. There were a couple of quite rude women with mundane jobs, wielding their tiny bit of power too zealously but I suppose this happens in all walks of life. Perhaps their day job is as a doctor’s receptionist.



I will start with the youngest high performer, Laila Hunnam, gold individual kumite. Laila completely bossed this section, which was far from easy with some very good little fighters entered. I also thought Faye Johnson performed better than she ever has, although she won no gold there was more spirit in her performance of kata and kumite but still a long way to go. Our nine years and below boys were simply outclassed. Dokan ten to eleven-year olds performed as well as expected and some slightly better than expected, although their medal tally was poor due mainly to the volume of quality entries from other clubs. Our senior squad out performed the rest of the club, their sections are the toughest and the quality needs to be exceptional to pull the medals. In twelve to thirteen-year old female kumite we took both bronze, gold and silver, a clean sweep with a fantastic show of kumite skills from all four girls. Emma Snaith took gold in her individual kata group and we won the 12-year team kata group also.

  • The senior squad girls rarely if ever miss a squad session and I am talking rarely, some have never ever missed one session this year.
  • They train properly and if they can not attend one of their weekly 4 or 5 lessons they replace it with a different night.
  • They and their parents have the correct mentality and commitment to be as good as they possibly can.

 We left Saturday morning with the prospect of a 28-degree day ahead of us. 47 people by coach and the rest in cars.  I planned a stop at the open-air swimming pool 12 mile from our hotel destination. The kids were excited, and it is their buzz that lightens my life. Unfortunately, the pool had over a 2-hour queue time and we headed straight for the hotel with my B plan coming into play. After a rapid check-in we headed to Gheluvelt park with its splash zone where some parents were there already to meet us. I took three large balls, 6 soft balls, 4 Frisbee’s, a rounders bat and a few other outdoor toys. The adults lazed about or popped to the pub and I played with the kids for a few hours trying my best to make sure they all have a good time and a memorable day.



My personal high lights of the weekend are playing rounders with kids and one and a half hours laughter at the evening park.