ITF European Championships 2012 - 6/5/2012


The 27th Senior and 18th Junior European Taekwon-do Championships were held in Maribor Slovenia between 20th and 22nd April.  A contingent from T-UK attended the championships to represent their respective countries, to coach and to support the teams.  Those attending were:

Representing ITF England: Mr James Miley (Coach), Izzy Brider (Competitor) and Jeff Brider.

Representing ITF Scotland: Mr David Condie (Coach), Stewart Walker, India Isles, Lewis Walker, Ross Cavinue, Andrew Millar, Lewis Walker and Megan Smillie.

All the Home Countries met for a short time on 18th April at Stansted Airport.  The England team travelled to Maribor via Graz, in Austria, Scotland travelled via Ljubljana which led to a much longer transfer time to their hotel near Maribor.  Nevertheless I understand that their accommodation and associated facilities were five star standard.  After settling in the teams then trained and prepared for the official training sessions that took place on Thursday (19th).

An early morning start on Thursday included registration and weigh in for the competitors and a chance to renew acquaintances with colleagues from Scotland, Spain, Sweden and other countries.  After a short break the England team headed to the Barada Sport Centre.   See Mr Miley’s photographs on his Facebook for the facilities, which included a bar and a terrace.  A hard training session was followed, at least by some members of the England team, with a cultural exploration of Maribor including sightseeing including the tunnel system which was used to accommodate vast quantities of wine which was grown around the city.   Mr Miley and I were prevailed, with some others, to sample the wine which was hard work if enjoyable.

Competition began in earnest on Friday 20th and continued until Sunday evening.  All the days started at 9 am and continued until 8 pm, long but enthralling days.  Competition which included representatives from 29 countries was of an amazing standard and all our representatives in both the individual and team categories performed brilliantly.  The Association and their Instructors should be proud of their students and their achievements at this level.  They displayed all that is great about the T-UK on and off the competition ring.

It is difficult to draw attention to any one person as so much was going on but the contribution of Mr Condie’s students to the team performances of ITF Scotland must be mentioned.  I will long remember the performance of the Junior Men’s Team destruction and their gold medal achievement. 

The performances of the Norwegian team stood out and their medal haul was prodigious given that they had not performed as well as in Slovakia.  To this must be added the performance of the Slovenian team who did very well cheered on by a partisan home crowd, including at one point the setting off of flares outside the hall.

At the end of the competition all the T-UK representatives joined together for photographs on the centre ring.  I enjoyed the opportunity to renew friendships with colleagues from other countries and associations which I feel is a key element in Taekwon-do.  However, it was the camaraderie and friendship on display by the T-UK contingent irrespective of country that impressed me the most.  If this is the spirit that we are developing in T-UK we are doing a great deal that is right and something that the Association should be proud of; long may it continue.

Finally I place on record my thanks to all those who arranged the tournament, the national coaches and particularly Mr Miley and Mr Condie for all the support that they gave to T-UK students in Maribor.


Jeff Brider