The INTA would like to extend a warm welcome to Mr Stephen Whelan and the students from Tallow Taekwon-Do Academy in Waterford.
The INTA held its annual National Championships in Gormanston sports complex 'Aras Preston' on Saturday 20 October. The hall had been set up with six 9x9m rings and one centre ring of 10x10, all which filled the width of the 100x50m hall nicely. Competitors from as far as Cork and Waterford, and from Northern Ireland, arrived early for the 9:45 start. At the line-up the 75 umpires were joined by Mr Condon (VI degree, Chief Umpire), Master Stobie (VII degree, Head of the Umpire Committee and Head Organizer), Master Fagan (VII degree), Master Franks (VII degree), Master Martin (VIII degree), Master Douglas (VIII degree, Vice President of the INTA), and Grand Master O'Toole (IX degree, President of the INTA). After the introductions, all competitors of 13 years and under received their participation medal.
The tournament started off with the fun overhead kick for all those of 13 years and under. To get the younger children home as soon as possible, next up were the "8 years and under" divisions. Each division did patterns in their designated ring, immediately followed by sparring in that same ring. This was repeated for "9 & 10 years" thereafter, etc, with the 18+ senior divisions running in the late afternoon. We received very positive feedback on this running order, and will implement it in the upcoming INTA Open 2019 as well.
The first competition of the season is done and dusted, and what a great start it was. Last Sunday morning we all descended on the prestigious, and spacious WIT Arena in Waterford. Here, six rings were set up in a perfect line to facilitate competitors 246 competitors from 24 clubs. These clubs were belonged to 5 different Taekwon-Do federations from the whole of Ireland.
The tournament started off with black belt patterns and sparring, to free up umpires for the rest of the day. As always this is a delight to watch. Around noon all colour belts lined up opposite the umpires. Master Franks welcomed all in his speech, and introduced the guests of honour: Grand Master O'Toole XI degree, President of the INTA; Master Douglas VIII degree, Vice-President of the INTA; Master Howard VIII degree of the RITA; Master Stobie VII degree, head of the umpire committee; and Mr Carberry, treasurer of the INTA. The most senior officials were also named, and much gratitude was expressed for the attendance of all umpires.
The afternoon kicked off with the overhead kick for all under 12s. Only 1 gold medal per age & height section was rewarded, so the excitement was tangible. In ring 6 the Taekwon-Do Kubz had their own competition; Kubz had to follow a black belt doing a beginner pattern. Their sparring afterwards was aimed at the shoulder, not the body. All Kubz were awarded a gold medal, so they were all winners!
The event continued in the other 5 rings with patterns, followed by sparring. Gold, Silver and two Bronze medals were awarded to the top four in each section. There were disappointments and winning smiles, but overall there was lot of good sportsmanship from old and young. Most rings were finished up by 5 p.m.
We would like to thank and congratulate Master Franks and his team for organising this fantastic friendly tournament. Next years Master Franks Crystal Classic Tournament to be held on 22nd September 2019.