STUDENTS from Stamford and Oakham TaeKwon-Do Club returned with a haul of medals and trophies from the National Competition held in Coventry.
Fourteen students from the clubs, which train at Bluecoat School, Stamford and Catmose Sports Oakham, came back with 22 titles despite being without their instructor Richard Auciello.
He had been taken into hospital on the eve of the event, preventing him from joining his clubs and the England Squad for which he is head coach.
His daughters Jessica, 10 and Rimini, 8, were among those due to compete in the competition and he insisted that the girls took part and not let all their hard work go to waste.
Rimini did very well in a tough category in which she was the youngest and the lowest grade in her section while black belt Jessica brought home gold in the 8-10 year category. She was crowned 2011 National Champion in patterns and took silver in sparring after a very close fight against a male student from Derby.
Jessica took the 10 year old boy through two tied rounds before having to go to sudden death. They had sparred for seven minutes before a punch against Jessica decided the title.
She also fights as part of the England Squad and was selected with Stamford’s Oliver Troth to form part of a victorious three person England Team along with a third competitor from Northampton.
Jessica said: “It was a very hard day, knowing that Daddy was in hospital having an operation, but I was very determined to make him proud. I wanted to bring Gold home and I did it.”
Results: Jonathan Mills, Oliver Troth and Jim Freeborough won bronze medals for sparring; Imogen Freeborough won silver and bronze in sparring and patterns; Jamie Watkinson won bronze in sparring and patterns; Sophie Stafford won gold and silver; Steve Marshall won gold in sparring; Sam Berridge won silver in sparring and Mark Watkinson won his first gold medal in Patterns.
l LIAM Watkinson was presented with a special award for Junior Competitor of the Day and was also part of an England Team winning gold in the Junior Male Team. His brother Jamie was also part of a junior team bringing home a trophy.
Brother and sister, Jack and Sophie Stafford represented England in the junior male and female competitions and Sam Berridge won silver in the women’s team event.