Four students from South Queensferry School of Taekwon-Do brought home seven of Scotland’s nine medals at the recent ITF European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
From a strong field that included more than 600 competitors representing 28 countries, the club’s heroics helped strengthen Scotland’s position in the European rankings.
Gilles Brown, 24, won gold in the 85kg Individual Sparring to become European champion, adding to the 78kg gold he holds from a previous tournament. Nineteen-year-old Michael McRoberts finished top of the podium in First Degree Patterns and also secured bronze in the 63kg Individual Sparring category. The talented teenager won another bronze medal in the Senior Team Patterns event.
Catriona McRoberts, 17, won gold in the Female Junior Team Patterns and bronze in the Individual First Degree Junior Female Patterns with 16-year-old Emma Fraser claiming bronze in the Junior Power Breaking division.
Club instructor and six-times world champion, Julia Cross, who was part of the national squad’s coaching team out in Eastern Europe, couldn’t speak highly enough of her students’ dedication to the sport.
“The proof is in the pudding,” she said. “I was an international competitor for 20 years so we work a lot on the mindset and the mental preparation as well as the physical so I think it’s definitely helped them this time around. They train so hard, twice per day six days a week so they’re very dedicated.
“We’ve got the World Championships in Ireland in October so we’ve got some downtime just now having just come back from Bulgaria. But, we’ll start in a couple of weeks’ time again preparing for the worlds. The club is like one big family and we support each other so I’m so glad the hard work is beginning to pay off.”