INTA Open 2018 Report
The Irish National Taekwon-Do Association held its 19th I.N.T.A. Open International I.T.F. Taekwon-Do Tournament on 10 & 11 March, one of the longest running tournaments in Europe. It was held in the spacious sports complex Aras Preston in Gormanston, Co. Meath.
Early Saturday morning's line-up brought 360 students from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Belgium to the floor. Opposite them were 70 umpires, and in between them an impressive group of other officials and special guests:
o Master Stobie, 7th degree, Head Organizer and Head of the INTA Umpire Committee
o Master Van Driessche, 7th degree, President of ITF Belgium
o Master Fagan, 7th degree, INTA
o Master Donnelly, 7th degree, INTA
o Master Franks, 7th degree, INTA
o Master Martin, 8th degree, INTA
o Master Douglas, 8th degree, Vice President of the INTA
o Master Vanberghen, 8th degree, Technical Director of ITF Belgium
o Grand Master O’Toole, 9th degree, President of the INTA
o Grand Master Weiler, 9th degree, Senior Vice President of the ITF – from Germany
The tournament took off with a flying start; to be specific: the spectacular overhead kick for Special Technique. There was only one gold medal for each of the twelve divisions, so competition was tough, and tensions were running high. A great beginning of a fun day out. The Patterns sections followed thereafter, putting more pressure to perform on the young students. These sections ran rather smoothly over the seven available rings. Once done, the students were eager to get into their sparring gear, and show off their moves. The organisers changed the divisions from previous years: all competitors were competing within a 10 cm height range. This made sparring for the juniors fairer, and there were more medals to win. There were winning smiles as well as tears. And while the First Aid crew was taking care of a few minor injuries, the coaches had to patch up the majority of injuries: broken hearts. But, as per the five tenets of TaeKwon-Do, there were no broken spirits.
The Sunday was reserved for all black belts, and all participants of 14 years and over. All participants had to weigh in before the 10 a.m. start. The 60 umpires were once again joined by our officials and special guests. The RITA black belt squad was also partaking, coached by Master Howard, 8th degree. With more than 140 participants spread over six rings, it was a shorter day for all involved. The seventh ring was reserved for warm-up and the Power section. It was a joy to watch the patterns, sparring and power. As on the Saturday, the atmosphere in the hall was great and everyone enjoyed being part of the global Taekwon-Do family.
A special thanks to all umpires for helping out, and to my fellow organisers: Master Stobie, Mr Carberry and Ms Bergin.
Yours in Taekwon-Do,
Jeroen Wezelman IV Degree