Innishannon – Sunday 14th October 2012
Another year, another Innishannon competition. But what a glorious day it was for the troop that made its way down to Innishannon in Cork from Galway on Sunday, 14th of October 2012. Two cars, eight people, three girls, five lads, one goal – to win all the medals at the competition.
Adrian’s car left the Kingfisher in the freezing October cold at 9am on Sunday. Crowded into the little bright blue Skoda were himself, Kevin, Cathal, Johanna and Maja. The journey started off harmless with chatter revolving around cars, driving lessons and Tae Kwon-Do. It turned more inappropriate when we would out about Kevin’s obsession with ‘riding’ horses, especially stallions. That brought a sudden lull to the car and the next few kilometres passed with the occasional jafa cake being devoured. Then Kevin once again astounds us with his wisdom of being able to tell the driver of a car simply by looking at their car. Needless to say, he failed once, twice, maybe thrice before giving up and letting the others laugh.
Charleville was the first pit stop in order to refuel our bodies with hot fillet chicken rolls and bumping into the other Galway car, comprised of Oliver and Izzy. We sped along the road to Cork, passed out by Oliver a few times and being told to take the wrong turns by Adrian’s strange speaking HTC sat-nav. The car journey ended outside Innishannon’s parish hall, where kids milled around, medals around their necks and some tear stained faces. We met up with Josh inside, registered, parted with our registration fee money and waited. And waited. And waited, until nearly all the little tots were gone.
Then seven adults, dressed all in white, with various coloured belts and trimming on their dobuks stepped into centre light. Maja and Johanna were in the spotlight first as they competed against each other and two other females in white-to-green-tag patterns. Both placed, Johanna taking third place while Maja scored second. Bows were executed just before they ran out of the ring to clad themselves in sparring gear. Protected from head to toe, Maja fought valiantly in her first ever official sparring match and unfortunately lost by a point. Next into the ring was Johanna as she flew at her opponent with jumping punches and kicks. Training had paid off and Johanna went through to the sparring finals. There she again fought well and brought home first place in sparring for Galway while Maja brought home third.
2nd degree female black belt, Izzy triumphed in her black belt category too as she took first place in patterns and sparring. Her energy never waned throughout the competition and she left the ring smiling.
Girls aside, the boys were up next. In white-to-green-tag patterns, Cathal bet his opponent, taking home first place for Galway. Fighting his first official continuous fight, Cathal gave the other opponent something to remember as he kicked him back and didn’t let him come up for air. Unfortunately, when extra time was called Cathal’s opponent landed a few visible kicks and the judges decided against Cathal. Still, a second place trophy was taken home and a good sparring round was had.
The last category, male black belt section, was a little fuller as Kevin, Josh and Adrian were all entered. Patterns were first again and Josh took second place for Galway. For sparring the competitors got divided up as it wouldn’t have been fair to throw all heavy-weight fighters in with the light-weight fighters. Adrian fought valiantly and brought home third place while Josh made it to the next round and came home with second place, both having fought in light-weight sparring. Next were the heavy-weights and what spectacular fights they were. Kevin, being only a blue tag, faced a red belt and a black belt that day. He triumphed in both his fights and placed first in the heavy-weight sparring. Along with his trophy, Kevin also brought home a black eye, courtesy of the black belt who didn’t particularly want to lose.
Bundling everyone back into the cars, we drove back through Cork and out to Charleville. There we rested once more, refuelled on over-priced Chinese food and ice-cream that couldn’t melt as it was too cold outside. Kevin astounded us with his ice-cream kicking skills and inappropriateness a few times more before we declared to a passer-by: ‘we will take him back to the institution later, don’t worry’. We love you really Kevin! The car ride back to Galway was mostly uneventful as we nodded in and out of sleep as we crossed various county borders and experienced the dramatic chance in weather (rain!) as we got ever closer and closer to Galway.
An eventful day was had by all and the NUI Galway Tae Kwon-Do club participants were the proud winners of 5 first places, 4 second places and 3 third places and one impressive black eye. We look forward to the antics and trophies of next years trip already!