HEAD instructor Sean Rodgers has hailed the achievements of his Chelmsley TAGB students after another stellar year for the club.
No less than five students earned their black belts in 2019, with Frankie Farrell, Casey Mae McKeown, Freddie Rainbird, Joshua Lewis and Ben Ashford all achieving the feat.
Meanwhile, Rodgers and fellow instructor Darren Sayce earned promotions to fifth and third-degree black belts respectively.
Further afield, a stunning showing by the club’s martial artists at the European Championships in Novigrad, Croatia earned notable acclaim.
As reported in the Observer back in May, Chelmsley’s Mallic Francis, aged 16, stole the show with two gold medals in the point stop sparring and continuous sparring events – adding to first-places at the Midlands and the English Championships at the start of the year.
An undefeated year for Mallic earned him international recognition after he was called up to Team GB’s development squad, allowing him to take the next step towards realising a dream of being selected for the Olympics in 2020.
Brothers Frankie and Dylan Farrell, aged 12 and ten respectively, also lit up the European Championships.
Frankie returned with a gold and a silver, while Dylan took two golds, a bronze, and was named Fighter of the Tournament – an accolade he hopes will spur him on to earn black-belt grading next year.
Speaking on the success of the club, Rodgers said: “All of the boys have had an amazing year.
“Chelmsley has also seen some of our youngest students compete this year at the British Championships with Ryan Williams (aged 9) winning bronze in the tag team event, and our youngest competitor Frankie Rodgers (aged 6) winning silver in his first-ever competition.
“Our goals for 2020 are to maintain and grow the club, which will see two new classes starting in January for four to 11-year-olds.”