COMPETITION season has started well this year for members of Wyre Forest Taekwondo as they brought home six trophies and medals from the first tournament of the year.

The annual Midlands Championships is held in Kettering Leisure centre and attended by hundreds of taekwondo clubs in the region.

All members of the Taekwondo Association of Great Britain (TAGB), the clubs join together to give students the opportunity to regularly test their skills under the pressure of competition. Across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, regional competitions are held as a warm up to the first national championship – the English, this March.

From Wyre Forest, Jessica Giles was the gold winner of the day. At just 17 and standing a foot shorter than most of her competitors, Jess was the smallest and youngest in the ladies red belt division - the last coloured belt group before the professional black belt levels.

She has always entered competitions from her first opportunity and has steadily developed into an impressive competitor. She was fierce and aggressive in her sparring, knocking one competitor out of the ring and into the judges table, leaving her unable to continue the bout.

Her mother Helen was also successful in her sparring taking home bronze. The mother and daughter duo train up to six times a week and are set to have a very good competition year in 2019.

Silver winning sisters Anuschka and Rhianna Sobainsky both narrowly missed out on patterns medals with their outstanding technique, but proved they had the power to back up their aesthetically beautiful techniques by both taking Silver medals in their respective power events.

Conditioned competitor Charlie Collyer didn’t expect much from his day having been out poorly for quite a few weeks but managed to win bronze in his individual sparring against a huge group of talented boys.

He was fifth place in his pattern event and also won silver in his tag team sparring. An impressive performance, especially considering he hadn’t been in class to prepare.

Abalena Bytheway, Elliot Munn and Alex Sobainsky all put in good performances.

The club's sister schools across the region also enjoyed tournament success. They included Dan Oldman, Tore Lamont, Aran Nathan Campbell from the West Midlands group, as well as Stourbridge, Wombourne and Kingswinford members Jodie Cooper, David Cooper and Keith Box.

Instructor Katie Billingham said: “It’s so rewarding to see everyone’s hard work pay off, especially Jess as she gives so much and it was the best I have ever seen her do! But also I want to say that it isn’t about medals, its about being brave enough to put yourself under pressure and see what you are made of. I’m equally proud of all competitors irrelevant of results.”

The club is now in training for the English Championships. For more information contact Katie Billingham on 07885 293088 or visit