Local black belts at European Champions

Katrina took home gold for Scotland
Katrina took home gold for Scotland

Five local black belt students from the Boydell Blackbelt Academies (BBA) attended the recent Taekwon-Do European Championships .

The five were part of the Scottish National Team that travelled to Motherwell for the championships returning with one Gold, four Silver and seven Bronze placing Scotland 10th out of 24 countries.

Left to right - James Craik, Katrina Carr (1 Gold & 2 Bronze), Katie Louise Davidson, Jodie Boydell (Bronze Medal), Dani Simmers, Philip Mowatt (Club Assistant) and Mark Boydell (Snr Instructor).

Left to right - James Craik, Katrina Carr (1 Gold & 2 Bronze), Katie Louise Davidson, Jodie Boydell (Bronze Medal), Dani Simmers, Philip Mowatt (Club Assistant) and Mark Boydell (Snr Instructor).

Jodie Boydell (14), James Craik (14), Katie Louise Davidson (14), Danielle Simmers (16) and Katrina Carr (17) were selected for what would be only the second time in history for Scotland to host this prestigious tournament.

Each student had to attend a selection process at the start of August. Once selected the students had to attend numerous extra-localised training, early morning training in Aberdeen as well as National Squad training in Perth every weekend.

In total 24 European countries were in attendance with over 800 competitors all with the hope of becoming a European Champion.

The championships were held over four days with all five competiting on the opening Thursday.

Katrina in action

Katrina in action

Katie Louise Davidson in her first international championships competed in the Special Technique division, where each candidate is required to jump and perform three different high kicks at a fixed target. Although she performed well the heights proved to be just out of reach.

Danielle Simmers and Jodie Boydell both teamed up to compete in the Traditional Sparring division where each country duo have to perform a timed fight sequence using traditional sparring techniques blended with imaginative acrobatic sequences. The duo executed their routine to a high standard, however the Polish opponents were just too strong and a first round exit followed.

Jodie Boydell and Katrina Carr also competed in the Team Pattern event where five girls perform any two from 12 pattern (Kata) routines that have been trained over the last 3 months. This time the team, captained by Katrina, beat the strong Germans to set up a semi-final with Italy. However, Italy proved to be a step too far, as they defeated our Scottish girls and went on to become European Champions. However this was to be Scotland’s first medal of the championships, a bronze for Jodie & Katrina’s team.

James Craik, also in his first international competition was part of the Junior Boys pattern division. The draw was not kind and saw Scotland drawn against the former World Champions England. However the boys did find themselves in the lead after the first round only to make costly mistakes in the second surrendering the victory to the former champions. Devastated the boy’s team will learn from their mistakes and look forward to the next championships in 2016.

A further bronze medal was won by Katrina Carr in the 2nd degree (Dan) individual pattern division, narrowly losing out to the current World Champion in the semi finals.

The highlight from the BBA students and for the Scotland team came on Saturday when Katrina Carr competed in the -50 kg female sparring division. Katrina was given a first round bye, but would face the current World Champion from Poland in her first fight, a repeat of the 2015 World Championship Final were Katrina, struggling with a fever narrowly lost. This time out, there was no doubt. Katrina shocked the World Champion with her strength and fitness and totally dominated the fight winning with all four judges scoring a significant points win. After this bout all the opponents thereafter were beaten as Katrina grew in confidence. In the final, on the Centre stage, Katrina was totally dominant over her English opponent and won her 3rd straight European sparring title. Although the Scotland team medal tally was one of the best in recent times Katrina’s Gold would be the only Gold won by the team.

All five students will now look forward to the Dutch Open in January and to next year’s European Championships in Finland.

For any information on joining Scotland’s most successful ITF Taekwon-Do School, over the past 5 years, contact Mark on 01561 361 753 or email boydell.tkd@sky.com.