40th EKF Junior & Cadet Championships & -21 Cup, Konya, Turkey - Arrival
The England Team has arrived in Konya.
The England under 21, Junior and Cadet Team has arrived in Konya (Turkey) to take part in the European Championships. There are 31 competitors in all, supported by 4 coaches, our physiotherapist, Mo Surdar, two chaperones (Debbie Tutty and Jess Hickman) and the Head of Delegation, EKF President, Carl Lindley.
The journey was long, as we met at 8-30AM at Heathrow (with a couple of latecomers who received suitable feedback), had a 5-hour stopover in Istanbul and arrived in the hotel rooms around midnight, which was 2AM local time. The Team was clearly positive, united and proud to represent their country at the highest level. We have a great deal of young potential in England, though for most, this will be perhaps their greatest test so far.
Photo by: Debbie Tutty
No problems with the journey, other than Mitchell Priestly checking in his hand luggage, then having to try and retrieve it. Little Fran Hardcastle caused some careful negotiations to take place as her passport said 'Francesca', so it was different to her ticket and the airline were not amused.
Carl and National Kumite Coach, Willie Thomas, spent the whole morning completing the registrations and the action starts tomorrow (Friday). The competitors rested today, then had a short, but intense final training session. Willie worked with the Kumite Team, supported by Assistants, Davin Pack and Paul Newby, whilst National Kata Coach, Jonathan Mottram, ran final preparations for the Kata Team.
The Team are ready, the organizers have a flag and a CD of the National Anthem, many family members and supporters have arrived to cheer England on. Fingers crossed!
It may be of interest to note that the name Konya comes from the Greek word: 'icona'. This was as a result of an 'icon' or pictorial depiction of St George killing the dragon, which was engraven on a rock nearby to commemorate this battle. It is perhaps symbolic that England should now do battle at the same location as did our own Patron Saint!