It seems so long ago that I was talking to Jack Magee at the 2014 Get Active Festival about BJJ and capoeira, and how I'd like to set a group up. He mentioned Grit Gym as a possible venue - and that they give the first six weeks for free to help groups get started and be successful. That was an offer I couldn't refuse, and I'm really glad I took them up on it! Grit has been a great venue, not least because of the support from Jack, Jason and Doug, so I'd like to say a big thank you to them for helping the group get started!
I'd also like to thank my friends James, Sally and Aaron for helping me with the publicity photos; to all the local businesses who displayed the resulting flyers and posters; to Ben Ponihill and his team at Sport and Leisure Development at Chichester District Council for their advise and support; to the lovely bank manager who helped me get all the paper work done for the group's bank account; and to my friends Simon and Sean for their help with the website and social media.
Thank you all! This year has seen the class go from strength to strength and here are some highlights:
- Welcoming Mestrando Primo and Instrutor Lua in July and Contra Mestre Cobra in January for the capoeira workshops
- Being involved in the community at Midhurst Rother College's This Here Is Summer; Get Active Festival and a Family Fun Day for Over the Wall.
- Road trips to Cheltenham for workshops and the festival, and to Eastbourne for Grupo Muzenza's Batizado.
- Giving Neo his first white and yellow corda before he jetted off back to the States.
- Social nights and meals.
- A bit of a personal highlight - the unexpected honor of receiving my graduado corda at the 8th International Capoeira Festival in Cheltenham.
- Crowdfunding for the group's berimbaus.
I'm looking forward to even bigger and better things in our second year!
There are two more important thank yous to finish with. Firstly, to Mestre Ray for founding Oficina da Capoeira in the first place, and to Mestrando Primo and Instrutor Lua for teaching me the art of capoeira.
The last thank you though must go to the students of Oficina da Capoeira in Chichester - we wouldn't be a group without you! Thank you to all those that have come this year. Cumulatively you have clocked up 548 hours worth of training - impressive stuff!
Here's to a successful Year Two!
|A big thank you to the students!|