2020 has been an unexpected rollercoaster of a year that has constantly tested our ability to adapt and keep a positive mindset. Usually, our Yearly Reviews are full of the places we’ve been, the opportunities we’ve seized, and the momentous occasions we’ve celebrated.
This year has been a momentous occasion within itself, and although the calendar of events for this year has been sparse, we want to celebrate!
To all of our amazing students who continued to train throughout these uncertain times, thank you for sticking with us.
We started off the year with England Squad Selection. Jamie Lottering, Nick Nelson and Alex Lockett were chosen for the England Kata Squad whilst Nick, Alex, and Mike Jeffrey were chosen for the England Kumite Squad.
Later in January Sensei Richard, Sensei Jane, Sensei Richard Kheder, Mike Jeffrey, Megan, Alex Lockett, Callum Brew and Raquel Amaro were selected to be on Sensei Brennan's Central Region Kata Squad.
Sensei Jane, in her #ThisGirlCan Ambassador role, assisted by Sensei Richard and Megan went to the offices of
Essex County Council where they delivered an Introduction to Karate class.
The Club held it's annual "Time to Talk" Event to help raise awareness about the importance of mental health.
In attendance were special guests Mayor of Chelmsford Councillor Bob Massey, Councillor Jude Deakin, as well as Chief Officer for NHS Mid Essex and Active Essex Board Member Caroline Rassell.
As a result, the Club was featured in the Essex Chronicle Newspaper!
Jamie, Nick, Alex, and Mike competed in The Grand Slam as a result of being chosen for the 2020 England Squads
The Club hosted a Masterclass & Kyu Grading with Sensei Andy Sherry at Dovedale Sports Centre.
A group were invited to visit the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Bob Massey, in his Palour to learn about the history of the Mayor's Office.
A large group of Chelmsford students and instructors attended the Black and Brown Belt training course at Abingdon under the KUGB's Chief Instructor Sensei Sherry and Sensei Rhodes.
On the 19th of March, with growing concerns about health and safety, we held our first ever Zoom Class, and a few days later the entirety of England was in Lockdown due to COVID-19.
We had students join from around the UK: Liverpool, Barnsley, Portsmouth, Durham, Tamworth, Wales- we even went global with students from Spain and America!
Alongside our virtual classes we also introduced a small Study Group for our younger members and a Virtual Quiz Night for our adult members.
Welcome to the new normal folks!
As Lockdown continued so did our online classes!
We expanded our sessions, with Sensei Richard holding Stretch Saturday every week to help us work on flexibility and getting the most out of our pre-session stretching.
In April, Joshua Newman won a People’s Choice Award at the National Charity Film Awards, for his film which thanked the NHS for saving his life.
In May, Sensei Jane and Megan decided to make care packages for all of CSKC's current members, including things such as club wristbands, class schedules, activity pages, and more!
It was amazing to see so many of you and have a socially-distanced chat!
Active Essex approached us about creating a series of videos for their Keep Essex Active campaign, which were published to their Youtube Channel.
By April many of us were missing our annual trip to the Train With The Champions course in Torbay.
During the week that would have been this course, we hosted Sensei Higgins on Zoom where he held a Special Easter Masterclass for our club and friends of the club.
On the 13th of June, under government guidelines, we held a trial of outdoor park training, which we then continued weekly over the summer alongside our Zoom lessons.
These lessons felt like a breath of fresh air (pun intended) for all of us missing training in the dojo.
It was really great to see so many people training together after only seeing you all on Zoom for so long.
Due to the restrictions that came with Lockdown, and the success of our outdoor training sessions, we hosted the first ever CSKC Outdoor Grading.
One of our students, Louis Stevens, was kind enough to lend us his front and back garden, and Jess Steadman and Alexander Lockett were kind enough to come and help out!
It was a very successful day for everyone who attended and had been training hard in the park and on Zoom!
Due to many people being unable to travel during the summer we had our busiest August in years! Along with being able to train in the park we had plenty of space to accommodate!
Meanwhile, in the background, Sensei Jane was busy working alongside our venues to try and get us back to indoor training...
On the 3rd of September, after months with no end in sight, we returned to the Dojo! Not completely back to normal, with a lot of new safety rules and regulations as well as a new booking system, but this was a huge step in the right direction.
We also launched our Adults Only Classes which have been a great success! Although we tried, we couldn't quite keep away some of our High Grades who also wanted to work on their basics too!
September also marked the relaunch of this website!
A small group of Chelmsford High Grades were also invited to train with Sensei Brennan at Regashi Karate Academy Ipswich.
Sensei Jane and Sensei Richard were also invited to teach at Chancellor Park Primary School ahead of World Mental Health Day.
In addition to talking to the whole school via Zoom about looking after your mental health and supporting others, they then held a series of karate classes in their sports hall to get the children active
On the 5th/6th of December Sensei Sherry and Sensei Brennan held their first ever Zoom Masterclass live from The Red Triangle Dojo!
We were happy to see so many Chelmsford members training over the two days, and we enjoyed the course tremendously (even if we were a bit achey in the following days)!
In October, due to being able to now train in the dojo, we held a Masterclass and Kyu Grading with Sensei Sherry. We held two classes to accommodate as many of our High Grades as possible, as well as a Kyu Grading for everyone who had been training consistently over the summer.
As well as our own Masterclass, Sensei Jane, Sensei Richard, and Megan were invited to Stoke By Nayland to train with Sensei Sherry the previous day.
After being nominated last year, Joshua Newman won the Child Of Courage Award at the Pride of Essex Awards!
This year has been especially hard for Joshua and his family and we hope that winning this award helped raise their spirits.
Well done Joshua!
Behind the scenes, Sensei Jane, Sensei Richard, and Megan were invited by the KUGB to start working towards the World Shotokan Karate Championships which take place next September.
To finish off the year we held a Masterclass and a small Kyu Grading with Sensei Brennan!
The Masterclass had a good attendance despite the limited numbers and social distancing. The grading was a success and we are very proud of those who showed how hard they'd been working despite the unusual circumstances.
We were named as an Essex Activity Hero for 2020.
We are very proud to have received this award, which is for all of our members and the hard work they have put in to keep training- whether at home, in the park, or socially-distanced in the dojo.
And there you have it! 2020! What a year...
At the end of last year's Review we wished for a busy and exciting 2020. Not exactly what I meant by that wording, but I think we can all agree that in 2021 we can experience truly appreciate some of the normal things we may have started to take for granted. We hope for competitions and courses and picnics and Christmas parties and much much more.
As for now, however, we'll keep our spirits up, be positive, and will get ready to train hard and play hard in the new year!
To all our members- old and new, our Instructors, parents, and supporters, we hope you have a great 2021!