Members of Quest Taekwondo Club got an unexpected bonus on the back of their success in September’s British National Championships of the World Taekwondo Federation.
Their medal haul of five golds, two silvers and two bronzes caught the eye of the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Dale Smith, who invited the Quest contingent to a civic reception at Bradford City Hall in order to celebrate their success.
The Lord Mayor asked each medallist to tell him their story from the event, including gold-medal winning siblings Natasha 14, and Liam Burdock, ten, from Silsden, and 11-year-old Karl Harris from Cottingley, near Bingley.
Karl won the children’s under-38kg title, while Liam was the children’s under-23kg winner. Runners-up included nine-year-old Rebecca Weir from Baildon.
The Quest Taekwondo team then gave the Lord Mayor a demonstration of one-for-one kicking, and also sparred before spending over an hour sharing their stories and taking part in a question-and-answer session. They were also given a tour of City Hall.
Coach Rick Simpson said: “Quest Taekwondo have had an excellent year – we’ve won so many medals and the kids have learned so much.
“It all came to fruition at the British National Championships, where their hard work, commitment and quality shone through.
“We finished eighth in the country out of 77 participating teams. Wow! We are a club from Bradford with kids from Silsden, Keighley, Bingley and Baildon competing at the equivalent of Premier League level with the best taekwondo competitors in the country, and we’ve finished in the top ten teams in the country, with practically zero funding.
“The target for all our young taekwondo competitors is to compete for Great Britain at a major championship, such as the European Championships (2013), World Championships (2014), Youth Olympics (2014), Commonwealth Championships (2015) or Olympic Games (2016).
“In order to do this you firstly need to be in a WTF British taekwondo club like ours. Then you need to have success on the international stage (A-Class Circuit) to be invited to train at the Great Britain Acad-emy in Manchester.
“We’ve got a clear pathway into the GB Academy, with two athletes already in there in Natasha (Bur-dock) and Jake Barnett.
“They’ve worked so hard to get to where they are but this has come at a significant personal commitment and financial cost to their families.”
Meanwhile, Quest again showcased their talented under-18s in the Future Champions Taekwondo Sparring Competition in Barnsley, winning two golds, two silvers and two bronzes.
Quest’s next outing was the Scottish Cup, where Harriet Akeroyd (Settle) and Jamie Kidd (Silsden) were competing for them.
Quest Taekwondo are offering one free lesson to new members, who can be any age from three upwards, who join this month or next month.
Simpson, who can be contacted on Rick@QuestBradford.co.uk or by ringing 07977-065357 said: “The Olympic Games has inspired so many people and we’re receiving interest from people in other martial arts wanting to convert.”