Sun 9th Feb 2020 – GMI – Grand Master Sutherland
Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility – 1 O'Donnell Way, Wishaw, Motherwell ML1 2TZ
Back at Ravenscraig today for the GMS 2020 Open Championships. Weather was terrible and saw flooded roads everywhere on our short journey travelling over from the Holiday Inn hotel 10mins away.
Today’s tournament was located in the athletics training hall at the other end of the arena as there was another dance competition in the main sports hall. The facilities were obviously inadequate for the number of competitors and spectators for the event!
For paying spectators, you had a choice of the following views…
There was very little spectator seats and even if you got a seat you wouldn’t be able to see anything.
It was very difficult to get into the room as the access was hindered by a bottle neck forming between the sand pit and edge of the areas. Witnessing the staff trying to rearrange barriers around the sand pit allowing better access for the Taekwondo attendees was like watching a badly organised sketch by a group of amateurs who didn't have a clue what they were doing.
Fortunately for competitors, it felt a little more organised and juniors all lined up ready for a prompt start with patterns. Ethan and Tyler each got a competitors medal which is always a nice gesture from the GMS organisers.
Ethan and Tyler both won their first round fights, and both came away with Bronze place medals. Up to 6-years old, juniors wear body armour and you're not allowed to make contact with the face. But their was one fighter in the blue-belt division with body pads which we felt was unfair – either it should be a compulsory requirement for all competitors in the category, or no-one should be allowed. It didn't seem fair when one person from the 8-9 years old division was wearing it as it gives a false sense of confidence and can be a good or bad thing:
Ethan and Tyler each won bronze in their categories. Their category finished just after 12:00 which meant a long wait for Ashton’s black belt category to follow in the afternoon.
Ashton's category was finally called to line up at 6:05pm!
After the 6-hour wait for the Junior Black Belt categories, Ashton was paired up with one of the tallest opponents. It was clear that the division should have been split by age from 13-15 and ages 16-17.
Ashton was disappointed with being knocked out in the first round, but it was a fair fight and he obviously had a height and age disadvantage by just looking at the group line-up. Not to mention, there we so many injuries and nose-bleeds during the fights in this category, it was not at all pleasant to watch.
We left the arena around 7pm while some of the black belt categories were still running. Knowing the number of event categories for the tournament, the organisers should have been able to plan the tournament better with sufficient areas to shorten the duration of the day and be able to minimise waiting times between events. There were some adult categories that had finished before the 13 year olds got to spar. I doubt very much we'll be attending this competition in the future until this problem is addressed.
Overall, well done to the boys and the twins for each getting third place bronze medals.
Ethan & Tyler each won Bronze place medal 🥉🥉
The final tally for this weekend in Scotland:
Ashton 2 x Gold and 1 x Silver 🥇🥇🥈
Ethan 2 x Silver and 2 x Bronze 🥈🥈🥉🥉
Tyler 1x Gold, 2 x Silvers and 1 x Bronze🥇🥈🥈🥉