But why is this move so crucial? Beyond the fundamental goal of maintaining the integrity of our sport, joining the UKAD framework is a prerequisite for sports aiming to secure public funding. Moreover, it's an essential criterion for membership within the British Olympic Association. In essence, our commitment to Anti-Doping places us on the direct path towards Olympic readiness.
WAKO CHILDREN, CADETS AND JUNIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
28th August to 3rd September 2023
Compiled by Chris Collymore - Head Coach Junior Team
Kickstartsboxing GB laid a solid foundation with its well-executed British National championships. Competitors from across the nation vied for the esteemed title of WAKO British champion. The podium finishers were then invited to monthly open squad training and a two-day summer training camp at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. This rigorous journey aims to refine the athletes' skills and foster a bond with the coaching staff, ensuring they are mentally and physically prepared for the WAKO Junior European Championships. From this process, Kickboxing GB was poised to select a formidable squad to represent against the best of Europe.
This year, the Kickboxing GB squad had a significant presence at the WAKO European championships. Flights departed from Scotland, two from London Heathrow, one from Manchester, and one from Birmingham. The squad comprised 90 athletes competing in over 133 categories, supported by 94 fans and 20 coaching staff and officials.
All flights landed punctually in Turkey. Each group proceeded directly to the weigh-in location in Istanbul to confirm their weight class and officially register for this esteemed competition. Every participant met their weight class requirements, underscoring the athletes' professionalism. The team then checked into their hotel, had dinner, and rested after a long travel day.
Day of Scheduling
While the Kickboxing GB athletes enjoyed a day of relaxation and sun, the coaches and officials attended seminars and the official draw. The coaching staff ensured everyone was registered in their respective competition sections. This year was particularly notable for Kickboxing GB, as many athletes competed in multiple individual sections, showcasing their dedication and fitness. Later in the day, a team meeting was held to discuss the week's schedule and set expectations for both athletes and supporters.
Let the Games Begin…
After an early breakfast, the team headed to the stadium. Team GB secured prime seating, and the Union Jack flags were prominently displayed. The supporters' enthusiasm was unparalleled.
In Attendance… (Day 1, Monday 28th August)
The WAKO European championships saw participation from 38 countries, totalling over 1500 competitors. The atmosphere was electric, setting the stage for a competition of resilience and performance. Kickboxing GB had 39 starts on the first day, spanning various fighting disciplines: Full Contact, Points Fighting, Light Contact, and Kick Light.
The Fighting Begins…
The calibre of fighting on the first day of the WAKO European championships seems to escalate with each international event. The athletes showcased exceptional skill and tactical acumen. While many from the Kickboxing GB squad delivered outstanding performances, standout fighters included Emily Greatrix, Joshua Aimger-Boyt, and Jake Studwick. However, Kenzo Cambridge was crowned "Fighter of the Day."
DAY 1 Analysis...
Kickboxing GB's achievements for the day were commendable: out of 39 starts, 27 fighters advanced to the next round, translating to a 69% conversion rate.
In Attendance… (Day 2, Tuesday 29th August)
After an early breakfast, Kickboxing GB was en route to the venue. The day featured Forms, Full Contact, Points Fighting, Light Contact, and Kick Light competitions.
The Forms divisions were a highlight, with competitors showcasing unparalleled skill and composure. After the judges' evaluations, Kickboxing GB celebrated significant achievements. Notable performances included those by Florence Lucas and Shayla Williams. Out of 12 starts, the team secured 9 medals: 5 Gold and 4 Silver, a 75% podium conversion rate.
Inspired by the Forms team's success, the Kickboxing GB fighters showcased exceptional skill and technique. Notable fighters included Teia Doyle, Adam Devet, Masie Ross, and several others. However, Aaron Kingsley & Jack Adamson stood out. Out of 53 starts, 41 fighters advanced, marking a 77% conversion rate.
In Attendance… (Day 3, Wednesday 30th August)
The days seemed to blur as Kickboxing GB returned to the venue, securing prime seating for optimal athlete support.
The Forms competitors continued to dazzle, with standout performances by Marshall Powell & Florence Lucas. The Forms team's stats were impressive: out of 10 starts, they secured 9 medals, a 90% podium conversion rate, with 6 being Gold.
This was the coaching staff's busiest day, with 67 starts spanning various fighting disciplines. The day was filled with high-energy starts and numerous standout performances. By day's end, out of 67 starts, 37 fighters advanced, marking a 55% conversion rate.
In Attendance… (Day 4, Thursday 31st August)
The mood was upbeat in the Kickboxing GB camp, but as the medal rounds approached, the intensity was palpable.
The Forms divisions continued to impress, with standout performances by Marshall Powel & Emily Pearce and Jack Adamson-McMinn & Kaden Lukas. Out of 9 starts, the team secured 9 medals, a 100% podium conversion rate, with 7 being Gold.
The day's fights were intense, with several Kickboxing GB fighters delivering memorable performances. Special recognition goes to Harley Quinn Guiver, who secured Kickboxing GB's first fighting Gold medal of the championships. By day's end, out of 61 starts, 44 fighters advanced, marking a 72% conversion rate.
In Attendance… (Day 5, Friday 1st September)
The atmosphere was charged as the semi-finals and finals approached.
Out of 14 fighters, 11 advanced, marking a 79% success rate.
The finals were intense, with several standout performances. Out of 26 starts, 16 fighters won, marking a 62% win rate. Special recognition goes to Summer Harvey & Maia Bisley, who each secured 3 Gold medals.
In Attendance… (Day 6, Saturday 2nd September)
The mood was upbeat, but the finals and team event remained.
Out of 11 starts, Kickboxing GB celebrated 9 new WAKO European champions, marking an 82% success rate.
The ring fights were intense, with 2 wins out of 3 starts, marking a 67% success rate.
The Team Event…
The team event was the highlight, with 8 teams participating. Kickboxing GB secured 2 Gold team medals, 1 silver, and 4 bronze medals, marking an 88% win rate.
Gratitude goes to the parents and supporters who gave their unwavering encouragement throughout the week. To Phil, Linda, Nigel, Lucy Edwards, Nev Wray, and Peter Edwards for all the unseen work that is needed on an international trip such as this. Also a big shout out to our referees Brian Beck, Peter Markland and Mark Holmes, who made his debut at international level.
Last but by no means least, a massive thank you to the coaching team that helped to make this European Championships such a success. The coaching team included Chris Collymore (Head Coach - Juniors), Dev Barret, Sean Veira, Sharon Gill, Duane Reid, Tony Atherton, Kevin Baldwin, Carl Thomas and Dale Bannister.
A historic performance by the junior squad that saw Kickboxing GB secure the top spot on the medal table with 48 Gold, 27 Silver, 22 Bronze medals and Junior Athlete Liam Holden being awarded Best Tatami Fighter of the championships.
2. Performance Enhancement: New training methods and strategies emerge regularly, which can significantly impact an athlete's performance. Staying current allows coaches to implement the most effective techniques to help their athletes excel.
3. Adaptability: The sports world is dynamic, with rule changes, equipment advancements, and evolving strategies. Coaches who stay current are better equipped to adapt to these changes, keeping their athletes competitive.
We all know that Kickboxing is a physically demanding sport. It requires coaches to be well-versed in injury prevention and management. Concussions, though not exclusive to kickboxing, are a potential concern due to the sport's nature. Coaches must understand concussion protocols to ensure the well-being of their fighters.
Key aspects to consider:
- Recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussions.
- Properly managing and documenting head injuries.
- Gradual return-to-play protocols to ensure athletes' safe recovery.
Here's your chance to enhance your coaching knowledge, for FREE!
UK Coaching is hosting an informative webinar that will cover concussion recognition, management and return to sport.
To register for this event, visit
Coaching education is an ongoing journey that's vital for the well-being and performance of athletes. Staying current with the latest developments in your sport is a responsibility every coach should embrace. Take advantage of opportunities like the UK Coaching webinar to level up your coaching game and make a positive impact on your athletes' lives.
Director, Kickboxing GB
Anti-Doping, Welfare & Safety