TWINNING: Fantastic weekend for martial arts clubs from Rugby and Russelsheim

Martial arts sports twinners from Rugby and Russelsheim enjoying their annual weekend together
Martial arts sports twinners from Rugby and Russelsheim enjoying their annual weekend together

Vendon Wright's students welcome friends from Germany

Over the August bank holiday weekend Rugby Freestyle Martial Arts Association hosted our twin town Rüsselsheim, Germany for their annual sports twinning weekend. Sports twinning has been going on for over 40 years and has seen over 200 different sports clubs take part in that time.

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Master Markus Seeman 5th Dan Black Belt brought along ten students from the WTF Olympic Taekwondo club in Rüsselsheim They were met at Birmingham International Airport at 12noon on Friday, August 23, and taken to their hosts' houses. They then were taken shopping in Rugby town centre and shown all the improvement and expansion to Rugby at Elliot’s Field shopping complex.

The yearly competition got on the way that evening with the usual three-section event. There was a sparring competition, demonstration and a fun bowling competition. Germany won both the sparring and bowling sections and were able to hold onto the trophy for the second year in a row. That evening was finished off with a welcome party at one of the hosts' houses.

On Saturday the Germans were taken on a tour around London. They visited Buckingham palace and saw the changing of the guard. They went to St James’s Park to feed the ducks and squirrels. Hyde Park for Princess Dianna sculpture, was also another interesting park to visit. Then they were given a choice of places to go as there would not be enough time to visit them all. The choices were the London Eye, London Dungeons, Madame Tussauds and Tower of London. Their favourite was Madame Tussauds, which they found very entertaining.

Walking around London became quite difficult as it was during a very hot weekend, with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees. They walked to Trafalgar Square, Westminster and Big Ben, Covent Garden (theatres), Leicester Square (Lego store and M and M world), Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus (for more theatres and big advert screen). The tour was finished off with a visit to Camden Town and Camden Market. It was a long but enjoyable day for the group of 25.

On Sunday they went to the new Go-ape at Coombe Abbey, which is climbing through trees and going down zip wires. They enjoyed it even though they were out in one of the hottest days of the year. Then they were welcomed at the Alex pub in James Street in the town centre, which put on food for around 30 people.

On the Monday the twinning visitors were taken over to Star City near Birmingham to tackle bowling and lazer zone. That took up the whole day before the final trip to Birmingham International Airport for their 6pm flight back to Germany.

Master Vendon Wright, 7th Dan Black Belt and Chief instructor of the Freestyle Martial Arts Association said: "It was a fantastic, fun-packed weekend and we even had good English weather. We always look forward to the next Twinning as it is like having friends coming to visit from another country."

For more information on Freestyle Martial Arts, visit www.vendonwright.com