Nailsea & Backwell Karate clubs end the competitive year on a high after club members Nicole Tanner and Ian Connell picked up a further three medals at this yearís JKS England Open Championship.
The competition, held at Nottingham's Wildcat Arena, drew entries from a range of organisations across the country and also featured at least five European Shotokan champions from the recent JKS Europeans in Denmark. In a competition with such a high standard, picking up medals is never easy.
Nicole Tanner picked up a bronze medal in kumite (sparring) and a second medal in kata (forms). Tanner ís impressive performance of kata Bassai Dai saw her improve on last year's silver medal by taking Gold in the Senior Kyu Grade Kata event. This is Nicole's first title, and with her black belt grading on the horizon, a positive sign of things to come.
Ian Connell has been training at Backwell Karate for a decade now and always shows a determined attitude and an interest in seeing others succeed. But this weekend it was his turn to step into the limelight. After picking up a team Silver at this year's KUGB Southern Region Championships Connell fought his way to his first individual medal - a bronze in Veteran's Kumite. Connell showed great composure to win both his first and second bouts and looked confident in his third match too, before being picked off by the eventual winner, Sheffield fighter Richard Fewkes, who had himself become European Veteran Kumite Champion in Copenhagen earlier this year.
Following fantastic performances from all club members throughout the day, Chief Instructor to the clubs Tim Griffiths said, "It's great to see that the Nailsea and Backwell clubs continue to develop members that are capable of medalling at such high quality events such as this. And with medallists this year coming from all age categories it really reinforces an age-old saying that Karate is for everyone.
"In particular, I'd like to recognise the excellent example set by Ian Connell. Ian trains in more sessions than anyone else at the club and truly deserves this individual recognition for his efforts."