The 2023 edition of the Laois Open was by far the biggest one to date with participating clubs from all over Ireland converging in the Mountmellick Sports Complex to test their skills against each other.
BMA Clondalkin fielded a squad of 15 fighters and registered one of the biggest medal hauls from participating clubs with an outstanding 20 podium finishes which included 4 golds, 10 silver and 6 bronze medals.
First up was the younger age bracket divisions in all 4 Tatamis that were running non stop for the entire day.
Jamie Hawkins (7) started the medal haul rolling in with one silver and a bronze in his PF novice divisions.
Emilia Douglas (9) stepped up to the intermediate level for the first time after a successful stint in the novice categories and didn't disappoint with a silver and bronze medal to add to the Club's medal tally.
Ashly Hollywood took the first gold of the day for the Clondalkin team by winning the girls intermediate u9 PF category.
Alex McLoughlin (13) made a spectacular debut for BMA Clondalkin by reaching the finals of the Novice Girls u14 PF & LC divisions only to lose out to the same champion in both sections by a very short margin.
Club teammate Donnie Kenna (15) was equally as impressive in his first start on the competition circuit by reaching the finals of the boys novice LC u16 division and was narrowly outpointed by his opponent from Wexford (Dynamo Kickboxing)
Team Ireland member, Louise Shortt (13) is in camp mode for the forthcoming WAKO European Championships and is already in great form by taking gold and silver in her respective fighting categories. "Louise along with her club Ireland team mate Sean Hawkins are really impressive in their work ethic gearing to chase European glory in just over a month's time", says head coach Ilija Salerno.
Najma Jama (16) only recently began competing and continued her success with a runner up and bronze medal in her two fighting categories.
The Derwin brothers of Cayden (15) and Roan (11) were an impressive force on the day. Both reached podium places in their fighting categories. Roan took first place in the boys u12 adv PF division while older brother Cayden had to settle with runner up after losing out to a much taller opponent from West Cork Kickboxing Club in the final of the boys u16 LC adv category.
An up and coming show of strength and energy is the Staunton family trio. Joshua (16) finished with a brilliant gold and silver in PF & LC respectively. Kameron (14) & Nathan (11) both took home a silver and bronze medal each by finishing in the top three of their own PF & LC divisions.
Unlucky not to medal this time round were Oisin Clancy, Anthony Hollywood and Noah Shields.