On the 4th of February 2017, the Vision Taekwon-Do Association held its first Awards Ceremony in the form of a black tie dinner at the Mercure Hotel Tunbridge Wells. The event brought together 82 members of the Vision family to celebrate our individual and collective achievements of 2016.
The event was hosted by Mr Steve Lobley who acted as the Master of Ceremonies and ensured the evening ran smoothly. After a brief introduction the awards began with the overall winners of each age category from the 2016 Vision League Competitions. Mr Dunn presented each winner with a trophy as follows:
James Myers (Guildford) under 10’s Male winning 5x Gold and 1x Silver
Chloe Anderson (Redhill) under 10’s Female winning 4x Gold and 1x Bronze
Ben Rutherford (Crowborough) – 10 -13yrs Male winning 5x Gold and 1x Silver
Evie Eason-Warner (Tonbridge) – 10- 13yrs Female winning 4x Gold, 3x Silver and 2x Bronze
Peter Morris (Alton) – 14-17yrs Male wining 6x Gold
Isobel Eason-Warner (Tonbridge) – 14-17yrs Female winning 3x Gold, 1x Silver and 1x Bronze
Mike Rutherford (Crowborough) – Adult Male winning 3x Gold and 6x Silver
Melanie Lusted (Alton) – Adult Female winning 4x Gold and 1x Silver
The individual awards were then followed by the overall schools results presented by Master Chesterman.
1st place – Tonbridge with 55 Golds, 56 Silvers, 105 Bronzes
2nd place – Crowborough with 38 Golds, 38 Silvers, 53 Bronzes
3rd Place – Alton with 40 Golds, 32 Silvers, 49 Bronzes
Next came the presentation of Degree Certificates for members who had successfully passed their 1st degrees during the year. Each student was introduced by their instructor who gave a short testimony before presenting their framed dan certificate. The following received their 1st Degrees and had the opportunity to say a few words if they wished.
Having successfully kept a little ahead of schedule the first section of the awards was concluded for the meal to be served. After the meal, the awards ceremony was continued. Having enjoyed the three course meal and been served the coffee and petit fours it was time to continue the awards. There were no 2nd degree to be awarded this year and thus we proceeded straight to 3rd degrees. Following a similar format the following received their degree certificates and belts from Mr Adams.
Stuart Fox Longdon
Having presented all the “Novice” black belts with their certificates and belts it was time to recognise those who had achieved “Expert” and “Master” status. Mrs Fox Longdon was presented with her 4th degree from Mr Adams. Mrs Fox Longdon and Mrs Bednall (not able to attend the ceremony) became the first two women in the VTA to gain the coveted 4th degree and International Instructor status after their grading and International Instructors Course in November 2016. This was followed by the presentation of Mr Dunn’s 6th degree and finally Master Lear’s received his 7th degree certificate from Master Chesterman. Mr Lear commented that although there are nine dan grades in Taekwon-Do, the grading for 1st, 4th and 7th dan are probably the most significant and memorable markers in an instructors career. It was therefore a prominent moment for the Vision Taekwon-Do Association to have members receiving each of these grades together.
This appropriately led into the instructor of the year award. Although every VTA instructor works hard for their students throughout the year, the instructors vote for an individual who they believe has gone ‘above and beyond’. For 2016 the instructor of the year award was presented to Mr Dunn.
The final awards of the evening recognised two individuals who have made a special contribution to the VTA over its history. Master Chesterman was inducted into the VTA Hall of Fame for his services to the VTA. Most recently as Treasurer a post that he stood down from in November after 9 years. Master Chesterman was presented with a certificate and he accepted a bouquet of flowers on behalf of his wife Isobel Chesterman who has acted as the associations licencing and membership secretary.
After completing the presentations, the formal part of the evening was concluded by Mr Lobley. From that point Eugene from EJ events took over. The bar and dance floor were open and everyone was free to dance, mingle and enjoy the rest of the evening. For many midnight and the last dance came around all too soon. Whilst a diehard few remained chatting in the bar till the early hours; most departed for their rooms or home. Many of the attendees had booked rooms in the hotel and so met again for breakfast the following morning (some having already been from a swim in the pool).
See the full photo gallery here
Stuart Fox Longdon