Over the weekend of the 1st-4th July, we hosted the 11th exchange between Overton and Basingstoke Taekwondo and KampfKunstSchule Tangun Euskirchen as part of the annual Festival of Sport between Basingstoke and Euskirchen.
Our 15 guests from Germany, led by the chief instructor Klaus Hambach, arrived on the Friday evening to be met by their hosts for a quiet evening – except Nathalie Rexroth who despite a 14 hour coach journey from Euskirchen, who decided to immediately come down to the club training session – good on you Nathalie.
Saturday morning started with an informal couple of hour s of training matches for both poomsae and sparring. The poomsae was played using a flag system simulating match play, with the sparring conducted under controlled rules and with a few OBTKD players loaned to our friends to ensure everyone who wanted a match could have a go. We were honoured to have a visit from the Mayoral party, led by Basingstoke and Deane Mayor, Cllr David Leeks, during the morning training. It was great to have the Mayor visit our dojang and see Taekwondo played in such great spirit.
After a short lunch break, we had a second guest of the day, Grandmaster Lindsay Lawrence, President of Taekwondo Chungdokwan GB. Grandmaster Lawrence led a fabulous afternoon seminar with the emphasis on improving speed, flexibility and agility. The session was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Saturday finished with an informal social event and BBQ. A time for relaxing and good conversation – and the drinking of a certain amount of Taekwondo-branded beer.
On Sunday morning, the guests and hosts headed off for a visit to Longleat Safari Park. We were fortunate to be blessed with excellent weather, dry and sunny nearly all day so fun was had by all.
Sunday evening finished with the traditional end of event party at Milestones Museum bringing together all the clubs involved with the Festival of Sport.
Monday 7am was time for good-byes as our guests head back to Euskirchen. Another really enjoyable exchange visit, next year our turn to travel!
Many thanks to all those who help organise events, hosted our guest or participated in the training and seminar.