CUMBRIA Taekwondo Summerlands have returned to the competition circuit this weekend, a year since their clubs opening.

Despite the competitions being rescheduled on a number of occasions due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions, the young martial artists drive was still there.

20 months since their last competition and 13 months since opening his own club, Lead instructor and coach Ryan Lightley took a team of five consisting of Harry Westmorland, Jack Dixon, Jaidyn Livesey, Jack Mcmahon and Mya Lightley to the Ultimate Taekwondo Open Championships in Barnsley.

Ryan, a 2nd degree black belt, was instrumental in acquiring the club’s current training space, which was established by Master Percy Gill back in the 1970s.

He said: “Sunday was a really emotional day and was the culmination of all the kids hard work and dedication since restrictions began.

“Evidently it has been a testing time for all, but our students have shown true commitment and perseverance and I couldn’t be prouder of the efforts they have shown to get to this point.

“They had some tough fights and yet we came away with 3 Silvers and 2 Bronzes which I think is an amazing achievement considering the difficulties that we have all faced during the last year.”

The club plans to compete again at the North East Open Championships in Newton Aycliffe and two weeks following that, they are taking a small team of four and heading to London to compete at the British Taekwondo Nationals where they will compete against some of the best fighters in the country.

Despite having to close their doors to students in November and again in January through to March, due to the coronavirus pandemic, members of the club committed themselves to taking part in online zoom sessions twice a week.

Returning to the club in April, members of the squad were permitted to resume their sports training sessions in preparation for returning to the competition scene.