PUMA at the Open Dutch 2019
We have two reports from the Open Dutch 2019. Firstly Mr Bailey gives his view as a parent / spectator, and then Mr Lammin gives his thoughts as Head Coach. Photo’s of the PUMA contingent in action can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ProfessionalUnificationOfMartialArts/photos/?tab=album&album_id=979240415607496
Mr Thomas Bailey (2nd Degree – Chesterfield)
PUMA got the competitive year off to a start by sending a team to the Open Dutch 2019, which took place on Saturday, 26th January. PUMA has attended this competition several times before, this year it sent a team of: 10 competitors, one official and two coaches. Five parents travelled as well to support the team from the stands. The PUMA competitors competed across 18 events.
The Open Dutch is a popular ITF Taekwon-Do competition, held annually. This year it took place at Fitland in City Resort Hotel, Helmond near Eindhoven, Holland. Master Willy van de Mortel from Difesa Sports organises the event. It was run very professionally with 10 fully matted rings and electronic scoring.
The team stayed in the center of Eindhoven, about a 20 minute drive to Helmond. Those who arrived early enough got their weigh-in out of the way on the Friday. On Saturday, there was only just time for a 15 minute breakfast before heading off to the competition venue for 8.15am. This was to allow enough time for those who still needed to weigh-in and for the officials meeting. The competition itself started at 9am.
It was a very widely attended competition with 777 competitors from 82 schools/associations, representing 19 European nations. There were many competitors using this as preparation for the upcoming ITF World Championships, thus raising the overall standard of this event to a very high level.
PUMA students were in action all day. Firstly with patterns: Mr Ed Colman-Roberts and Mr Dom White on ring 2 with 3rd degree patterns. Followed by Mr Szymon Doniesiewicz and Mr Jack Gould on ring 3 with 1st degree patterns. Mr Adam Swain and Mrs Jenny Swain were up next on ring 2 in the 4-6th degree patterns category, with both securing a bronze medal! Finally, Mr Aidan Bailey and Miss Juliette Remillat-Scarpa did their 2nd degree patterns on ring 3.
After this we moved onto sparring, with all the weight category sparring divisions running through until the late afternoon. Miss Remillat-Scarpa, Mr Doniesiewicz, Mr Bailey, both Mr Gould’s, Mr Colman-Roberts and Mr Mikael Cacia all sparred in their individual weight categories. In the early evening the “Overall Sparring” categories started; with just two weight categories in each of male/female senior/junior. Mr Doniesiewicz, Mr Cacia, and Mr Colman-Roberts represented PUMA in these categories.
A highlight from the weekend was a very nice demonstration from a student with special needs. He performed some line work, kicking drills and pad work watched by the packed stands and Master Willy van de Mortel.
Although there were only two medals on this occasion for the PUMA team, that in no way detracts from the individual performances and buzz around the team. It was a large and very enjoyable competition! After the event we returned to the hotel and there was a team meal at a restaurant where the chef cooked right in front of us with plenty of fire! The rest of the evening was spent together relaxing and playing card games at the hotel. On Sunday morning there was time for a short walk around Eindhoven before making our way back to England.
From a personal perspective, as a parent, this was the first international competition abroad that I had attended with my son, Aidan. Having only competed at PUMA competitions previously, albeit for many years, he commented “The first thing you notice when you enter the competition hall is the scale of the event. It is massive!”. It was definitely a step up for him. I know that every single PUMA student competing at this competition has put in so much effort to get there. But so has everyone else. So when it comes down to that moment of competing at this level, it is very intense.
It was fantastic to see the level of skill on display. It was great to see some well known names from other teams competing such as Mr Vitalii Solovey from Ukraine, Mr Reuben Williams from ITF Fusion, amongst many others. Also, many friends of PUMA who regularly attend PUMA competitions were present, including TSA run by Mr Gary Foster and Sportschool Tim Kool. Along with the competition, many friendships are made over the years.
With the PUMA team there was a very good atmosphere. Of course, it’s all the other things around the competition itself that make memories. It was good spending time with all the team members and getting to know them better. You often seen just one side of people when we are in our normal training classes. But there is definitely a lot of camaraderie and laughs that surround the whole thing. We didn’t know Ed was going to be catching the same flight as us, so it was nice when we met up at Manchester airport, he’d been there 4 hours already! We then shared a hire car with Maria, and that was an experience, getting around on the other side of the road with bikes flying all around in Friday evening traffic! She did a great job driving us between the airport and venues. Also a few tense moments at the weigh-in with last minute burning off weight by skipping and sauna!
I’m sure everyone on the team would like to express their thanks to Master Willy van de Mortel and all the officials and helpers for putting together such a great event! Thank you to the PUMA coaches Mr Daniel Lammin and Mrs Jenny Swain. Also, to Mr Adam Swain, who had a very long day as an Umpire. Thank you to Maria Cacia for assisting with getting us all organised!
Next up is the PUMA International Open on Saturday, 16th February in Swindon!
Read more on the Open Dutch website http://open-dutch.nl, and see the full results on https://www.sportdata.org/taekwondo_itf/set-online/veranstaltung_info_main.php?vernr=141
Mr Daniel Lammin (6th Degree – PUMA Head Coach)
The Open Dutch is one of the biggest and most competitive open tournaments on the ITF calendar. The standard was extremely high from the off and it was clear that any medals won were going to be hard earned. Szymon Doniesiewicz performed really well to progress through a number of rounds and reach the quarter finals in a massive 1st degree junior male patterns but once again it fell to the Mr and Mrs Swain to open PUMA’s medal account. Both Adam and Jenny Swain won bronze medals in their respective patterns categories, both of which were extremely competitive.
With patterns completed it was on to the sparring and once again the standard was extremely high with World and European medallists in almost every category. On this occasion there were no medals for PUMA students but there were still some fantastic performances. Ed Colman-Roberts competing in the -78kg category made it through a number of rounds to reach the quarter finals, falling just short of the medals. This feat was matched by Jack Gould who competed strongly before losing to a high quality Slovenian who went on to win the division. Szymon Doniesewicz then rounded off a great competition by reaching his second quarter final of the day in the -62kg overall sparring division, losing to the eventual winner and current European silver medallist.
It was great to see so many students looking to test themselves at this level and each and every one of them should be proud of their performances even if they did not medal on this occasion.
One of the highlights of the day was a demonstration by world renowned competitor and coach Ales Zemljic from Slovenia. As well as coaching numerous champions he also spends time teaching Taekwon-Do to special needs students. The demonstration of techniques by one of his students drew a massive crowd and the biggest cheers of the day by far. It served as a great reminder that Taekwon-Do is about far more than just competition and resonated with everyone lucky enough to be there.
I would like to thank Mr. Swain agreeing to umpire for the remainder of the day after he had finished competing (all groups are required to provide umpires). It was a long day but he did a professional job throughout. I would also like to thank Mrs. Swain for assisting me with coaching responsibilities, she did a fantastic job with all of those who she coached. Finally I would like to thank the parents who travelled with us and made it possible for PUMA to field such a large team.
- Mr Adam Swain
- Patterns Senior M 4th-6th Degree – 3rd
- Mrs Jenny Swain
- Patterns Senior F 4th-6th Degree – 3rd
- Mr Ed Colman-Roberts
- Patterns Senior M 3rd Degree – joint 5th
- Sparring Senior M 70-78Kg – joint 5th
- Overall Sparring Senior M +70Kg – joint 9th
- Mr Dominic White
- Patterns Senior M 3rd Degree – joint 9th
- Miss Juliette Remillat-Scarpa
- Patterns Junior F 2nd Degree – joint 5th
- Sparring Junior F -45kg – joint 5th
- Mr Mikael Cacia
- Sparring Junior M 62-68kg – joint 9th
- Sparring Junior M Overall +62kg – joint 17th
- Mr Aidan Bailey
- Patterns Junior M 2nd – joint 5th
- Sparring Junior M 50-56kg – joint 5th
- Mr Szymon Doniesiewicz
- Patterns Junior M 1st – joint 9th
- Sparring Junior M 56-62kg – joint 17th
- Sparring Junior M Overall <62kg – joint 5th
- Mr Jack Gould
- Patterns Junior M 1st – joint 65th
- Sparring Junior M 56-62kg – joint 5th
- Mr Sam Gould
- Sparring Junior M 50-56kg – joint 9th