It was the turn of Newark Martial Arts’ young fighters to bring home the medals, when they took part in the country’s leading championships for junior kickboxing in Birmingham on Sunday 14 June.
The ICO British Championships started with 8 year-old Harley Price and 9 year-old Sam Hardy, who were both up against it in a category that included 12 year-olds. Despite winning his first fight, Harley narrowly missed out on a medal; fighting incredibly well, Sam only lost against the eventual winner of the category and was awarded the bronze medal.
In his own category, Alfie Price missed out on gold but went on to win bronze, silver and gold in a catch weight category.
NMA’s young stars continued to shine in the 13-15 year-old category. First up was Megan Williams, at 13 giving away both age and weight but coming out on top to take the gold against a strong opponent from Wales.
Then it was the turn of club mates Andrew Price and Tom Rawlinson, fighting at -50kg in what was probably the hottest category of the competition. In the semis Tom was drawn against the favourite, current English Full Contact Champion Keaton Mahi from USKA gym, and after an extra round to decide the winner, the Newark fighter progressed to the final.
With Andrew looking equally impressive in his semi, NMA ended a long day of quality competition with two of its youngsters going head to head in the final. An impressive display of speed and skill from both fighters prompted congratulations from the event organisers at the final bell, when Tom was declared the winner and Andrew was awarded a well-earned silver, taking the NMA total to seven medals as the tournament came to an end.
“Over the years, we’ve produced more junior champions than any other club,” said head coach Dean Sugden. “But it’s not just about how many titles you win, it’s the level of competition you defeat along the way.
“The ICO British Championships attract young fighters from leading clubs such as USKA and Eclipse, who like us are used to winning on the world stage. At NMA we’re always searching out the best opponents to test ourselves against and on Sunday our Juniors rose to the challenge and did us proud.”