National medal for Backwell team (press release)

13 May 2017

Ashley, Tim and Steven pick up bronze

Backwell Karate's kata team returned from the KUGB National Championships with a bronze medal.

The tournament, held at Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena, is the biggest single association championship in Great Britain, with teams from across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland competing to become KUGB British Champions.

Backwell Karate competitors entered in a number of categories but despite brave performances the Team Kata event was one that Backwell targeted as their best chance of success. And after qualifying through the elimination rounds, the team of Tim Griffiths, Steven Connell and Ashley Hall eased through the semi final with a clean, sharp performance of kata 'Enpi'.

With three out of four finalists separated by just one point, the evening's final was bound to be a close affair and it proved to be the case. While last year's winners, Sendai Kushiro, were beaten to the Gold by Cambridge University, Backwell Karate were edged down the medals by one point once again, in a repeat of the semi finals.

The medal is only Backwell Karate's second ever senior placing at the championship, such is the size and quality of the event, with the previous medal also coming in the Team Kata event in 2014. The team in 2014 also included current team member Steven Connell and club instructor, Tim Griffiths.

Of the day, Tim said, "Despite some disappointment from not managing to come away as British Champions we should be proud of how we did. We've either won or placed in every event we've entered in the last 12 months, so to show that level of consistency is obviously very pleasing. Ash, Steve and I have put a lot of time into making sure we can do well at these events and hope that we can now encourage more people from Backwell and the South West of England to put in the hard yards and take more medals back home to the region.