Referees News 2012
"Things can only get better!!"
Days leading up to traveling was a frantic affair, with visa"s arriving days, if not hours before and one not arriving at all, with Paul having to cancel and having to re-arrange flights.
We all arrived in Moscow (eccept Paul), and after much scrutinising, and at one point I was not sure they were going to let Peter in, we cleared customs, then only to find 3 out of 5 cases were missing, they were in Brussels... and maybe be arriving the next day. We then set off to the Hotel, which took 3 hrs of sitting in the most horrendous traffic and was probably one of the warmest days in Moscow this year, we arrived at the hotel and I was looking at the other 3 wondering..mmm 2 days in the tracksuits, maybe more? So there was a lot of talk about uniform and Gi swaps, but with me and Billy not being the tallest, I could see this could be a problem, so a big shop was discussed.
Peter, Brian and Gary went back to the airport early next morning to pick up there cases which thankfully were there and also met with Paul who had just arrived.
Things were starting to look up, registration went smooth and the referees course went to plan, with only a few alterations to the rules.
Theory exams...all passed and then the practical kata exams for Brian and Gary, this can be a nervous affair, when waiting around 4hr"s before going in to show your 2 katas and explain the bunkai etc.,
The referees briefing at night at night had a couple of surprises...Billy was told he would be part of the examination board and on as a temporary commission member for the rest of the weekend and I would be part of the referees appeals jury.
Competition...Kata and Kumite practical refereeing and judging at the championships.
Each candidate was put into their groups, sent to the areas to be assessed and marked accordingly to whether they were good enough to attain a European qualification.
I was Joint tatami chief on area 2, so my day was very busy, Gary and Paul were also on this area, and from what I could see all the England officials applied themselves well, although a little nervous.
Finals and results
Only Referee A"s were used for the finals, Billy had the task of working out the personnel for the each final with the approval of the European Chief Referee , Peter was selected for all the 8 finals as score keeper, and I was involved in either judging or refereeing 6 out of the 8 , with Billy judging one of the kata matches as well as overseeing all the matches. The team match between Bosnia and Azerbaijan was the highlight with a incredible take down by Rafael Aghayev.
The championship was still running while the results for the candidates were being given at the Head Quarters Hotel.. Traveling on the coach back, confusing texts were sent, but it soon became apparent that something amazing was unfolding...
Gary and Brian were passed up kata judge B"s, and also they passed to kumite judge B"s along with Peter who was sat at the side of me on the coach. Unfortunately Paul had just missed out.. 5 out of 6. A fantastic result ! We have now 10 European officials, 9 of which are in both Kata and Kumite, this means we are one of the stronger nations in Europe.
So all the hard work, the dedication, time [and money], team work, each knowing their roles and backing each other up, leading up to this event, paid dividends in the end. "things can only get better"...
Day 5 night
Journey back home...no dramas...