For the sixth successive season, Vale Karate have finished at the top of the medal table in the WKL. The final event was a tough one for Vale karate with the strong squad's from ESKU/GKR and ESKF as well as the regular squads from around Wales and England once again providing a competition of quality.
At the Finals day in Merthyr, as well as the competition medals, the overall top three in each category over the season were revealed and also rewarded with beautiful trophies.
Vale Karate's first medal of the day came via Bradley James with his seventh gold medal of an unbeaten season in the U14 Special Needs category. Connor Ashill was second adding a silver to his own collection.
Lucas Widdringtion took a silver in the 14+ Spcial Needs event behind the excellent Tyler Foster of Merthyr Zentai.
Ellie-Jayne Farrugia and Danica Apologista took bronzes in the 6-15 years Shotokan event, before Angel Manayani took a silver in the U8 Girls Kata, her second to go alongside the four gold's she's won.
Jakob Bartush was bronze medallist in the U8 Boys, but like Angel, his performances this season guarantee that he finished as Champion of Champions!
The trio of Amelie Fisher, Elle-Mai lee and Jack Eustace had also done enough this season to take the three Champion of Champions podium places in the U10 Novice kata section, so although none took a medal in Merthyr, it didn't affect their trophy winning day.
Lloyd Beer rose to the challenge to take a bronze. Lloyd also took a bronze in Kumite, but finished just outside the overall top three.
Elle-Mae took a Kumite bronze and added the 3rd place trophy to her collection.
Ellie-Jayne took a silver in the U12 Advanced Girls Kata to add to the 1st place trophy she was awarded.
Emillie Thompson has just started competing again after a break, however the talent she has led to her winning her pool, only to take a silver behind the excellent ESKF girl in the final.
Greg James took a Kata bronze, unfortunately just finishing outside the top three this season.
Chiara Baker was the runaway leader in the u14 Girls Advanced kata and took her sixth gold medal of the year and of course took the Champions trophy.
Danica Apologista took another bronze in the U16 Girls Kata, and a second place trophy. In the U14 Girls kumite, Alysha Lee took a bronze and a 3rd place trophy.
Josh Davies didn't take part in the U16 Boys kumite, but had already secured the Champions trophy. Chris Slack had last entered the individual event at WKL 1, when he took silver. He entered in Merthyr and his pure ability saw him see off all comers to take the gold medal. in a season when the medals have been widespread, this also earned Chris the Overall 3rd place trophy. much to his surprise!
Leah has concentrated on coaching for most of this season and entered the kata in only the last two events, winning both. she again took the double in Merthyr also winning the kumite!
Luke hasn't entered all season, but joined the cause in Merthyr and shone, comfortably takin goth gold medal.
Leah and Luke were then joined by Kee (silver in the veterans Kumite) to comfortably win the Adult team event.
Vale entered the final event with a five gold medal lead, so looked to be in a good position to pull off the win, however halfway through the day, the squads were neck and neck with Vale taking a gold here, ESKU/GKR taking a gold there...
In there end our more experienced campaigners cam to our rescue and eventually Vale took 59 Golds, ESKU/GKR took 56 with Kansei the next squad on 31.
We took nine Champion of Champions trophies:
Well done to all our athletes, parents, officials and supporters for another memorable season!