It was a winning start to the year for a taekwondo club.

Now entering their fifth year, Dunmow TKD took 22 students to the TAGB Midlands Competition at the Kettering Arena where over 800 other martial artists were competing.

It was by far the largest attendance in the competition's history but it was a memorable day for three of the Dunmow students attending their first ever competition.

Brie Metcalf was just five-years-old when she joined the club in 2020 and is on track to become a black belt next year.

In a hugely contested group of 45 girls, she performed her pattern exceptionally and won gold, with club-mate, nine-year-old Alyse Dixon-Bellot getting silver.

And the other end of the age range, Arnel Messina is 53 and only joined the club at the end of last year to train alongside son George and wife Nella.

His powerhouse rendition of his Chon-Ji pattern though was good enough for gold, and he also reached the final of the men's yellow belt sparring, coming away with silver.

All the family returned with medals, Nella taking gold in team patterns and George winning bronze in sparring.

Another family were celebrating too.

Eleven-year-old Izzy Solvey trains with dad Paul and sister Niamh and having only graded once, the white belt yellow stripe won gold in the girls' yellow belt sparring.

The clubs' formidable sparring history saw them add more medals.

Maddie Davenport-Handley (17) won silver in the cadet black belt girls' sparring, a medal matched by Reggie Huggett, seven, at his first competition

His came in pee-wee sparring while there were bronzes in tag team sparring for Lindsey Bowler, Isla Maguire, Alyse Dixon-Bellot and Ruby Pegrum.

In the Team divisions, sisters Ariella and Alyse Dixon-Bellot won gold in tag sparring, as did Lindsey Bowler, with Evie Dolan.

Amelie Maguire and Ruby Pegrum got silver behind them.

Evie, Ruby and Amelie also got bronze with their team pattern, as did Izzy Solvey.

Bryony Arnold got a silver.

Instructor Cheryl Howard said: "I'm just delighted to have come away with 25 medals, especially as this was the first competition for quite a few.

"To win gold in patterns is a huge achievement."

Dunmow TKD train at Helena Romanes School and Barnston Village Hall and more information can be found at