By Niraj Wadher
Swansea University Taekwondo club take the lead at the British University Taekwondo league.
Swansea University played host to the British University Taekwondo South League Day 2 on Saturday 17th February, inviting University of Bristol, De Montfort University, University of Worcester, University of Leicester and Loughborough University to the Sports Hall to see who would be take the top position this year.
The competition followed a league format in which the university teams were matched up with opponents of a similar weight, height and belt rank. They then went head-to-head with each other to see who won the most fights and so won the match. Each win is given three points, a draw one point and a loss no points. The South League Day 2 saw the conclusion of the matches following on from the first day in Leicester.
Swansea’s twelve-strong team is all inclusive – involving students from all types of taekwondo and a range of experience levels. Amongst its members are also students that have achieved national champion status through the club and others who have competed nationally and internationally through their home clubs.
Under the coaching of Niraj Wadher (II Degree) and Liam Rossiter (III Degree), the club have managed to obtain a record number of medals this year and went into the South Day 2 with three wins and one loss making the last two matches crucial.
Swansea were up second and faced the monumental task of beating University of Bristol – a team known for its exceptional fighting ability. Led by team captain Aaron Bryant, the club presented Swansea with a challenge. All of the fights were very close, one going into an extra thirty second tie-breaker and two, for the first time in BUTL history, culminating in a golden point situation where the winner is decided by the first to score. After twelve bouts, the score stood at 10 – 2 to Swansea, a victory that would have to wait to be celebrated as the team had to face University of Worcester straight away. After a series of close clashes, the result was a draw 3 – 3 against Worcester. This took the team to thirteen points overall in the league – a winning point tally.
Tournament manager Sam Tudor summarised the day and spoke about his future hopes for the club:
“I am very pleased with the results. The standard of competition is developing throughout the club which really reflects the true commitment and dedication our members have put in throughout the year, which I hope we maintain in future competitions.”
The university team intend to compete in the final against Manchester Metropolitan University on Saturday 17th March in Loughborough. At this event, they are also looking to put forward several members to try out for the first ever National Student Taekwondo Squad which will eventually go on to represent the university and the UK at competitions in Europe and Asia.
This club, which started out with only a few members, has grown to become a sporting powerhouse, raking in the medals and performing well on the national stage. We intend to keep growing – watch this space!
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