I’m sure you’ve noticed that we’ve had a lot going on at JSTKD this year. As well as our various colour belt gradings that have been taking place throughout the year, you might be surprised at just how much we’ve been up to – here’s a little memory jogger for you:
In January we got back to our training and welcomed new students as we prepared for the coming year.
February saw us attend our first tournament of the year at South Midlands, where Luke Pownall won bronze in the Boys Black Belt division. It was also when our first Ninja Grading of the year took place where our youngest club members had a chance to show off their skills to their families. Mr Schembri made his debut on Bro radio, speaking about the upcoming European Taekwondo Championships where JSTKD students, Ashton Curnick, Menna Burmingham and Harri Burmingham would be representing Wales in the junior tournament.
In March we attended the English Championships in Worcester where in the junior division, Ashton Curnick took gold and Sean Edwards came away with the silver. Lynne Doel made sure the adults didn’t come away empty handed and claimed the silver. Mr Schembri meanwhile, was back on the radio! This time he was on BBC Radio Wales speaking about his role as Wales Team Coach, the European Championships and how Wales is producing some top Taekwondo competitors. He also held a successful sparring seminar at Master Peros Super Centre, Cardiff. Mr Schembri and Mr Fearn welcomed around 80 keen students from both local and English clubs to improve their techniques and learn new skills. At the end of the month, Menna, Harri and Ashton headed off to Davos, Switzerland where they competed for Wales. They did an amazing job as the European Championships attracted around 1,500 competitors from 20 countries. Menna won 2 silvers, Ashton won bronze and Harri won a place in the local hospital with badly bruised ribs! He was kept in overnight but was able to watch his team mates the following day.
In April it was back on Bro Radio where the European trio went in with Mr Schembri to talk about their experiences in Switzerland.
In May it was Mr Schembri’s turn to take part in a competition – The Clash of the Titans. Mr Schembri was selected to fight as part of the 12 strong TAGB team (Taekwondo Association of GB). They faced ‘The Warriors’ – a handpicked team of kickboxing champions – in a fierce competition fought in front of 1,000 spectators. Mr Schembri won his fight helping the TAGB to a fantastic victory of 10 wins out of 12 rounds. Also in May, JSTKD saw 8 students (7 juniors and 1 adult) become Black Belts. These are: Rhys Doel, Ethan Wakefield, Kai Scurlock, Nathan Morgan, Joel Clarke, Alan Li, Matthew Hardcastle and Michael Harbottle. The Black Belt examinations only take place twice a year and the test is around 3 hours long in total so a well deserved congratulations to you all.
June saw us attend 2 competitions and win lots of medals! Earlier in the month we went to the Welsh Open Championships where Ashton Curnick took the gold (this time moving up a division), Sean Edwards took the silver and for the girls, Emily Doogue also won a silver. Lynne Doel and Chris Edwards won silvers for the adults. At the end of the month, we went to the Welsh Closed Championships where we had several new team members taking part. This time Rhys Doel took the gold in the boys Black Belt Peewee Division. his sister Seren came home with a silver in the Tiny Tots division and not to be outdone, their Mum, Lynne, also added another silver. In the Boys Green Belt Division, new fighters, Finley Valvo and Gabe Wilfred claimed gold and bronze respectively. Menna and Harri Burmingham won silver and bronze in their divisions. Sean Edwards took the gold in the Boys Tiny Tots with his Dad, Chris, winning a bronze.
Back to our youngest members, the Ninjas for July where they took part in their second grading of the year. We had a bright sunny day this time and a great turn out from family and friends who came to support them in the grounds of Dinas Powys Parish Hall.
Although we all enjoyed our holidays in August we were still busy working on fundraising for the Jenny Schembri Foundation (JSF). As you know, this year our funds are supporting local toddler, Alfie Porter Smith who has a rare form of Cerebral Palsy. The winner of our ‘Design a Charity T Shirt’ competition was announced as Alan Li from the Dinas Powys club. The ‘design finalists’ joined Alan for an awesome day out at Cardiff White Water Centre as their prize for coming up with such brilliant ideas. We’ve been selling Alan’s winning design and many of you will no doubt, be wearing your t shirts to class.
As part of our fundraising we held a Kickathon and Fun Day in September and many thanks to everyone who supported this by raising sponsorship and/or coming along on the day. As usual our annual water fight proved to be wet, wild and full of water-gunned warriors!
October was a very mixed bag of activity. Mr Schembri started the month by completing the Ironman Barcelona which saw him push his endurance to the limit as he swam 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles and finished off with a full 26.2 miles marathon. Endurance of another sort saw another 5 students (4 juniors and 1 adult) achieve their Black Belts. Many congratulations to Evan Morgan, Josh Edwards, Joe Lewis, Ellie Morgan and Gary Morgan who saw their hard work and training pay off. At the end of the month, JSTKD took part in a totally different type of competition – we made the finals of the prestigious CIPR* Cymru Wales PR Awards (Chartered Institute of PR). We were the only totally independent company to qualify and we did it without having any budget! The other competitors were either large organisations with their own PR/Marketing departments or companies that had hired a professional agency to run their campaigns. Although we didn’t win it was still a great achievement to have reached the finals.
No slowing down in November – we were at the British Championships in Worcester. Adults Chris Edwards and Lynne Doel claimed the bronze medal in their individual events with Nathan MacIver coming away with a bronze as part of the men’s tag team. Junior tag team competitors, Harri and Menna Burmingham achieved silver and bronze respectively. However, we had some drama in the Boys Black Belt (Heavyweight) competition as Alan Li did a spectacular spinning hook kick and knocked out his opponent! Alan was eventually just narrowly beaten into silver in the final but also won a silver as part of the Boys Black Belt tag team.
So here we are in December. Many of you will have come along to the Christmas Party which was a chance to show off your moves on the dancefloor, catch up with friends and generally have a great time. It was also our final fundraising activity so keep your eye on the local press in the New Year where you can see us presenting our cheque to Alfie and his family. A huge thanks again to everyone that has supported us with this.
In January 2015 there will be a special free seminar held on 10th January with Master Peros. Full details will be given nearer the time – and what’s the best way to find out about these? Well, first of all please make sure you check our website regularly – there’s lots going on at the club and the news items and blogs are regularly changed to reflect this. Also, even easier, especially if you’re pushed for time, (and who isn’t) simply sign up to receive emails and texts, and we can get the latest information to you directly. Just go onto the home page of the website and make sure you complete the very quick process of filling in the box. Even if you think we’ve got your details, please make sure you still complete the box on the website to make sure we’ve got your most up to date contact information. If you’ve ever wondered why some people always seem to know what’s going on, chances are they’ve filled in that box! Finally of course, you can go to our club Facebook page where you can find out what’s happening and of course, it’s your chance to interact with us and your class mates.
There will be new classes coming in the New Year ……..and yes, it will all go on the website and be sent out via the direct message service!
One last thing to mention – you might have noticed how visible JSTKD has been this year in our local press, so please don’t forget to keep your eye on the newspapers. Viv Wilfred, who trains with us at Rhoose, has been looking after our PR and between February and December we’ve made 28 appearances! That averages out to around 3 stories every month! We’ve been in The South Wales Echo, The Gem, Barry & District and The Penarth Times. As you will have read in the review, we’ve also been on Bro Radio twice as well as on BBC Radio Wales. We have more stories and features planned for 2015 so please keep looking out for us. In fact, please take an active part in the club and who knows, the next article could be about you!
Our Xmas Grading will be on the 21st of December this year, it is late so therefore there will be results on our mailing lists and our Facebook page jstkd, not to mention our website. I must please ask you to get involved with our social media and website. It holds all the information you or your child needs to succeed within jstkd. Our Xmas party is on the 13th of December if you haven’t filled out our form on jstkd.co.uk please do as we can only let the people go that hand in the form for food and room allowance. This year all classes will run up to and including Thursday the 18th of December. Our first class back in January will be on Monday the 12th We normally start back with the schools, but next year we will start back a week later; this is because Mr Schembri will be in Japan on a training course and meeting our affiliated partners ATI Martial Arts of Perth Australia.
In place of our lost week Master Peros our area Rep will be holding a seminar set up by Mr Schembri, there is no cost and this seminar will be on Saturday the 10th of January, all information will be given out in the near future. There will also be a Ninja Class in the morning run by myself at the same venue prior to the seminar for 1 hour
On behalf of all at JSTKD I would like to wish you all a happy Xmas and new year with a focus to 2015 kind regards and warm wishes Mr Schembri 🙂