Two weekends ago I attended a well organised BJJ Open in the social club of the University Hospital of Wales. This was not just any BJJ Open, but one where all the proceeds went to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit deep in the heart of this hospital. This was put together and organised by Steve Lewis, who put a call out to martial artists far and wide. The response from all top level competitors was amazing and they came in droves to be matched up for some rolling on a Saturday evening.
I had heard about this event from my previous employers SCL Security as they had sponsored the evenings competition, so I jumped at the chance to get down there and see what Steve had put together; it certainly didn’t disappoint as the mats were placed in the centre of the Recreational Room, with a small bouncy castle, ball pit and face painting station set in the corner for all children to enjoy whilst their Dads, Uncles & friends enjoyed a healthy competitive roll all in the aid of an excellent cause. Also set at the front, where the stage held the warm up area, stood a giant table full to the brim of collector’s dreams holding everything for the auction from a Royce Gracie signed UFC photo to David Haye signed boxing glove. A well organised array of anything you would want to collect in the sports world.
Steve’s background as an amateur fighter, training in many well-known gyms under some of the best coaches, meant that he could call upon some of the best to come forward to make this night an eventful one, and they didn’t disappoint. With Nathan Webb officiating the No Gi Grappling and Greg Cutter officiating the BJJ matches, this really was a professional, well put together fund raiser that became a must-go-to family event for all.
Steve wanted to raise funds for the Children’s Unit as he had friends who had been affected having lost their child and as he was changing jobs he asked his wife about possible fundraising, and his wife came up with this idea to choose the Children’s Unit, which started off as an idea to put together an Interclub, but grew to this BJJ Open.
With visitors like Mark Collett popping over the bridge to lend support and a full room, the MC for the evening David Owen took control and took us on a superb ride of rolling and auctions.
The results are as follow:
Cameron Clarke beat Farhan Hussain via Darce Choke.
Chris Miah beat Kai Maybury via Americana.
Tyrone De’Abreu vs Pete Grimwood result Draw.
Kyle Prosser beat Nicky Stephens via Triangle choke.
Radoslaw Klepczarek vs Akeem Khan result Draw.
Brenton Hardware beat Jack Benfield via Armbar.
Aaron Khaled beat Darren Velasquez via Darce.
Aiden Lee beat Dino Gambatesa via Foot lock.
Farhan Hussain beat Kyle Prosser via Foot lock.
Cameron Clarke vs Chris Miah final went to a decision win for Chris Miah.
Tom Caughey beat Shane Price via Heel hook.
The whole evening raised a grand total of £3,250 toward this amazing Children’s Unit and everything from the brochures to the Auction were put together and run without a hitch. I am really hoping there will be another one put together soon as there was something for all the family and Steve did say never say never, with plenty of fighters left to fill the gaps this could be a regular BJJ occurrence.
Well done to Steve and all involved.
Photograph courtesy of David Mertens Photography.