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Another important date for all the youngsters of the KUGB, as the 7th Children's National Championships took place on the 5th July 2003. Around 250 competitors took part, all eager to battle it out for the 14 individual titles that were up for grabs, as nervous parents looked on.

The eleminations started at 10am, with the boys' brown belt kata. This was by far the largest event, with 2 sheets of competitors on each of the four areas at Chesterfield's Queens Park Sports Centre. As the day went on, all the finalists for the evening's showdown were decided and the eliminations finished at around 3pm.

The 8th-4th kyu kata finals started off the evening, with many of the finalists in this category competing for the first time and looking very nervous.
In the girls' event, C Reilly from Kirkby took the title with Heian Sandan. Second place went to G Perry from Goodyear Wingfoot with Heian Nidan. Third place was R McNamee, also from Goodyear Wingfoot, with Heian Nidan and fourth place was awarded to K Resnick from Goodyear Wingfoot with Heian Shodan. A good start for the Goodyear Wingfoot club!
In the boys' event S Bersantie from St Johns took the title with Heian Nidan. C Newstead from Leeds Karate Academy took second place with Heian Yondan. Third place saw another Goodyear Wingfoot junior, T Knowles, with Heian Nidan and in fourth place was M Wilson from Leeds Karate Academy with Heian Sandan.

The ippon kumite event gives the younger children a chance to show just how spirited they can be! The girls' final saw M Daw from St Helens take the title, with R McNamee from Goodyear Wingfoot in second place. Joint third was awarded to B Soulsby from Denchi Kai and G Perry from Goodyear Wingfoot. In the boys' final, P McClaren from Rochfords beat M Gayle from Leeds Karate Academy. Joint third places were shared by J Hill and J Finlay, both also from Leeds Karate Academy.

The 10-11 year old boys' kumite final between R Powell from Bargoed and T Edwards from St Johns was over quickly, with R Powell scoring with two successive jodan punches to take the title. Join third places went to J Rawcliffe from Kirkby and J Plumb from Chingford.

The girls' brown belt kata event was a battle of Bassai Dai, with all competitors doing the same kata. This probably made it a bit easier for the judges, who awarded first place to T Hopper from Ashington. C Cartwright from West Kirby took second place, with S Weathritt from Ashington and K Mills from Caldicot taking third and fourth respectively.

The boys' brown belt kata, with eight sheets of competitors, made it a very tough category to reach the final. Eventually, after many tiring rounds, the four finalists emerged as S Hopkins from New Hayes, D McVey from Denchi Kai, P McClaren from Rochfords and D Jenkinson from Chingford. S Hopkins took the title with a strong performance of Bassai Dai with D McVey's Jion in second, P McClaren's Bassai Dai in third and D Jenkinson with Jion in fourth place.

The boys' under 5' kumite saw some very exciting action in the final. R Tucker from Leeds Karate Academy faced P Williamson from Picton for the title. The fight was lively and kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. P Williamson received a warning early on for a heavy jodan punch and unfortunately a similar warning later in the fight meant that P Williamson was disqualified and R Tucker took the title. Joint third place was shared by M Roache from Red Triangle and C Davidson from Kirkby.

The girls' under 5'3 kumite was a well-fought event. Reaching the final were H Sterling from Kilburn and J Shipman from St Johns. J Shipman got off to a good start, scoring with a chudan punch, but H Sterling managed to pull it back with a chudan punch of her own. Sterling then went on to take the title as she ran in with a fast punching combination, scoring with a punch to the throat. Joint third place in this event was shared by K Finlay and Z Starr, both from Leeds Karate Academy.

The team kata was a popular event. Reaching the final were Leeds Karate Academy, Picton, Chingford and Denchi Kai. Picton were on top form and took the title with a sharp performance of Sochin, with Leeds in second place, also with Sochin. Chingford took third for Jion, with Denchi Kai in fourth with Heian Nidan.

In the 5'-5'5" boys' kumite the final was between C Gumbs from Rochfords and J Bending from Leeds Karate Academy. The fight started off lively, as both competitors hit at the same time with chudan punches, resulting in no score. The first point went Bending's way, as he hit with a chudan punch as Gumbs' jodan punch went past. Bending then went on to tie up the title with another lightning-fast chudan punch. Joint third places were awarded to D Noble from Tiverton and L Elliott from Leeds Karate Academy.

The girls' black belt kata gave us a good selection of kata to watch. H Sterling from Kilburn came out the winner with a smooth Kanku Sho, closely followed by V Baird from Ashington in second place with Bassai Sho. L Hutchinson from Cullompton took third with Sochin, with Z Starr from Leeds Karate Academy taking fourth with Jitte.

The girls' over 5'3" kumite final was between I Stanley from Rochfords and C Cole from Woolton. I Stanley got the upper hand, scoring first with a chudan punch and finishing the fight with a jodan punch. Joint third were H Webb from Halewood and N Keall from Ashington.

The boys' black belt kata is always of an exceptional standard. The four finalists this year were H Saif from Picton, D Wright from Ashington, L Brannigan from Kirkby and D Williamson from Picton. It was another good mixture of kata for the crowd, with D Wright taking the title for his performance of Enpi. H Saif took the silver medal for Sochin, with D Williamson in third place for another Sochin, and L Brannigan in fourth for Jiin.

The final event of the evening was the boys' over 5'5" kumite. The four finalists were J Cooke from Bargoed, R Bassi from Rochfords, L Brannigan from Kirkby and C Browning from Tiverton. The first semi-final was between J Cooke and R Bassi. Both fighters were very cagey for most of the fight, with the eventual first clash resulting in a warning for Cooke for a heavy jodan punch. When time was called neither fighter had scored, so the fight went on to a one-minute extension. Cooke scored first with a deep chudan punch as Bassi ran in, and the fight eventually went to Cooke as Bassi was later disqualified for a heavy jodan punch.
The second semi-final was between L Brannigan and C Browning. This semi-final was much livelier, with both fighters throwing a lot of techniques from the start. Brannigan received two warnings early on for control, but it was Brannigan who eventually scored first with a jodan punch, which was then equalled with a chudan punch from Browning. The fight was eventually to go to Browning, as another warning for Brannigan resulted in a disqualification.
The final was then between J Cooke and C Browning. Both fighters seemed to struggle with each other's style, with lots of techniques being thrown, but none scoring. At the end of the two minutes it was Cooke who had received a warning for control, with no points for either fighter. The extension was equally frustrating for both fighters with, again, no points scored. The referees made the final decision, awarding the fight to C Browning from Tiverton.

And there the day ended, with thanks to all the referees and judges, and all the spectators who turned out to watch. Going by the standard at this year's Children's National Championships there is a bright future ahead for many of the KUGB youngsters.

Results

Boys' Ippon Kumite

1st Piers McLaren - Rochfords,
2nd Michael Gale - Leeds Karate Academy,
3rd Joseph Finlay - Leeds Karate Academy,
3rd James Hill - Leeds Karate Academy

Girls' Ippon Kumite

1st Melissa Daw - St Helens
2nd Rachel McNamee - Goodyear Wingfoot
3rd Gemma Perry - Goodyear Wingfoot
3rd Beth Soulsby - Denchi Kai

Boys' Kumite 10-11 yrs

1st R Powell - Bargoed
2nd T Edwards - St Johns
3rd J Plumb - Chingford
3rd J Rawcliffe - Kirkby

Boys' Kumite Under 5'

1st Ryan Tucker - Leeds Karate Academy
2nd Peter Williamson - Picton
3rd Craig Davidson - Kirkby
3rd Michael Roache - Red Triangle

Boys' Kumite 5'-5'5"

Jamie Bending - Leeds Karate Academy
2nd Curtis Gumbs - Rochfords
3rd Daniel Noble - Tiverton
3rd Luke Elliott - Leeds Karate Academy

Boys' Kumite Over 5'5"

1st Craig Browning - Tiverton
2nd Jonathan Cook - Bargoed
3rd Rajdeep Bassi - Rochfords
3rd Liam Brannigan - Kirkby

Girls' Kumite Under 5'3

1st Holly Sterling - Kilburn
2nd Jennifer Shipman - St Johns
3rd Zoe Starr - Leeds Karate Academy
3rd Katherine Finlay - Leeds Karate Academy

Girls' Kumite Over 5'3"

1st Iyesha Stanley - Rochfords
2nd Chantelle Cole - Woolton
3rd Natalie Keall - Ashington
3rd Hayley Webb - Halewood

Boys' Kata 8-4 Kyu

1st S Bersantie - St Johns
2nd C Newstead - Leeds Karate Academy
3rd T Knowles - Goodyear Wingfoot
4th M Wilson - Leeds Karate Academy

Girls' Kata 8-4th Kyu

1st C Reilly - Kirkby
2nd G Perry - Goodyear Wingfoot
3rd R McNamee - Goodyear Wingfoot
4th K Resnik - Goodyear Wingfoot

Boys' Brown Belt Kata

1st Sean Hopkins - New Hayes
2nd David McVay - Denchi Kai
3rd Piers McLaren - Rochfords
4th Daniel Jenkinson - Chingford

Girls' Brown Belt Kata

1st T Hopper - Ashington
2nd C Cartwright - West Kirby
3rd S Weatheritt - Ashington
4th K Mills - Caldicott

Boys' Black Belt Kata

1st David Wright - Ashington
2nd Hisham Saif - Picton
3rd D Williamson - Picton
4th L Brannigan - Kirkby

Girls' Black Belt Kata

1st Holly Sterling - Kilburn
2nd Victoria Baird - Ashington
3rd Lyndsey Hodkinson - Cullompton
4th Zoe Starr - Leeds Karate Academy

Team Kata

1st Picton
2nd Leeds Karate Academy
3rd Chingford
4th Denchi Kai