After many months in the planning the weekend had finally arrived for UK ITF to host the British Championships 2012.

On Friday 19th October many of the international competitors that were set to compete with our British students were making their way into the country. The UK ITF made sure that all countries were collected from London, Bristol & Cardiff airports & transferred to the Maldron Hotel, Cardiff. Equipment had already been unloaded at the impressive venue during the early evening by Ms Burridge, Ms May, Mr & Mrs Richards. Weigh inn was set to start at 8pm at the hotel & after a few diversions through Cardiff city centre Ms Ashley Nicholls arrived to join Dr Hayley Parker & Ms Alison May to start the weigh in. Whilst this was going on the remaining equipment was being unloaded at the NIAC by Master Nicholls, Ms Burridge, Mr McAvoy & Mr Nicholls in preparation for the next morning.

Saturday 20th October saw the tournament committee along with many helpers arrive at the venue for 7.30am. With a great team effort everything was set up & prepared ready to go by 9.30am. After briefing the Umpires & new event staff, the competition was ready to commence. The morning flew by very smoothly with main of the Senior, Junior & kids kickers divisions all completed by 1pm. All competitors were kept on their toes knowing that UK Sport talent scouts were watching with interest. A short break was taken for Master Nicholls to introduce the international delegates that had traveled to Cardiff & they were all presented with a unique gift. Master Nicholls also introduced the newly appointed UK ITF development committee members. He then presented the best overall kids kicker trophy.

The afternoon got under way with the Adult & cadet categories, plus the special technique & power categories were started. All umpires & event staff worked hard to keep the events running, with clear instructions from the screens plus mic announcements ensured that competitors were prepared for their next bout. The fantastic day was finished off with an excellent team event with UK ITF v Holland. After some very exciting fights UK ITF came away with a 5 - 0 win which the crowd were ecstatic with. As the event came to a close Master Nicholls presented the trophies for the best overall competitors for the Senior, Adult, junior & cadet categories. The hall was then cleared away with the same smooth teamwork that had set the day up some 12 hours earlier.

The tournament committee were extremely impressed with all the new event staff, umpires & helpers that made the day a huge success. The experience from the newly formed tournament committee was certainly a positive one, but also with many thoughts of how we can improve for the next major UK ITF competition.

Special congratulations goes to the overall champions;
Best Overall Kids Kicker - Adam Rowland
Best Overall Cadet - Amy Van Der Verr
Best Overall Junior - Beth Martin
Best Overall Adult - Marten Van Straaten
Best Overall Senior - Mike Bartlett

Also to our visiting friends from overseas, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong & Sweden.

We now look forward to preparing for the UK ITF English Championships on Sunday 3rd February in Paignton, Devon.

Many thanks to Ben Luckman for the use of his wonderful photographs in this article.