Day 6 - 24/04/11 - Journey Home & Squad Debrief
It was an early start for the squad on their final day in Konya as they prepared to leave the Hilton Hotel, home of the squad for the last week, and head off back to Konya Airport to catch their plane home. With all the other teams from the sports that took part in the Children's Games, a fleet of coaches set off for the airport together.
The flight left on time from Konya Airport and all landed safely at Istanbul Airport for the connecting flights, for our squad it was back to London, Heathrow. The only downside was that there was a gruelling 10 hour wait at Istanbul airport for the connecting flight. However, this did give the National Coach, Wayne Otto OBE, the perfect chance to watch each and every fight that was recorded on video and then discuss each fight with the athletes on how they performed and where improvements could be made on techniques etc.
The International Children's Games proved beneficial in many ways as it provided a great opportunity for the squad to bond in a more informal atmosphere than that of a major European or World Championship event but nonetheless just as important to them. The amount of people that came up to the young squad and Coach Wayne Otto to speak to them or have their photos taken with them was phenomenal to see. It seemed apparent that the EKF Squad and National Coach Wayne Otto are defiantly gaining a good reputation abroad.
The squad finished 2nd overall in the medal table for Karate behind hosts Turkey but ahead of Spain.
- Turkey - 5 Gold, 1 Silver, 5 Bronze
- England - 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze
- Spain - 1 Gold, 3 Silver, 5 Bronze
- Azerbaijan - 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze
- Bosnia - 1 Gold, 0 Silver, 1 Bronze
- Greece - 0 Gold, 3 Silver, 3 Bronze
Well this was a wonderful trip for the young squad with some great results too. This was the first trip the Cadet squad has been invited to and therefore it was important that the squad portrayed England and the EKF in the best possible light. Well they proved to be very much the centre of attention with many of the other coaches and squads for all the right reasons with their sporting attitudes, support and friendliness which was excellent to see.
This was an event that has given Wayne and the squad something to build on for the future.