Lenzie club fly the flag for Scotland at national Taekwon-do championships

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A GROUP of martial arts experts have returned from England with an armful of national championship medals.

The GT-UK Taekwon-do British Individual Championships were held in Ryton-on-Dunsmore recently and a bus of competitors and supporters travelled down from Lenzie-based XS Taekwon-do with Saltire flags flying.

The club took over the running of Lenzie Public Halls last year after the facility was threatened with closure by cash-strapped East Dunbartonshire Council and have gone from strength-to-strength since.

Marie McAneny, a 4th degree International Instructor, led a 28-strong team of both Black Belt and Coloured Belt students of all ages to compete.

A club spokesperson said: “After an early breakfast on Saturday morning the competitors with the support team arrived at the venue to find the atmosphere was upbeat from the start and both competitors and supporters were enjoying themselves amidst some nerves.

“There were welcoming smiles to the newcomers along with the usual friendly banter amongst old friends.

“The competition commenced with the Coloured Belt students showing a good standard overall. The junior Black Belt students followed and the high standard continued especially in the Sparring with the medal count rising.

“The applause at the end was loud and appreciative which got everyone in the mood for the adult Black Belt competition to follow.

“The day ended with a party where everyone let their hair down and enjoyed a great evening and energy levels continued to soar and the dance floor packed all evening.”

A well as having fun, the XS students were also successful as they claiming 15 gold medals, nine silver and nine bronze - a total of 33 medals from only 27 competitors.

Local successes included Karis Bhattacharyya, who won double gold in the patterns and sparring contests; Scott Forrest who landed gold for patterns; Abigail Ronnie, who won silver for patterns and bronze for sparring; and Stephanie Smith, who was awarded gold in sparring.

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