Martial arts team to host fundraising happy hour cruise

In an effort to raise funds for a tournament in South America, a Bermuda martial arts team will host a happy hour cruise tomorrow.

The Bermuda Sanshou Association (BSA) will be heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October for the Eighth Pan American Wushu Championships. Wushu is the modern name for Kung Fu.

Garon Wilkinson, President of BSA said the cruise will take place aboard the UberVida and explained the competition, saying: "Wushu competition is split into two parts — taolu, forms and san shou, full contact fighting. In previous championships we have competed in san shou and for this championship we will participate in taolu as well.


In an effort to raise funds for a tournament in South America, a Bermuda martial arts team will host a happy hour cruise tomorrow.

The Bermuda Sanshou Association (BSA) will be heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October for the Eighth Pan American Wushu Championships. Wushu is the modern name for Kung Fu.

Garon Wilkinson, President of BSA said the cruise will take place aboard the UberVida and explained the competition, saying: "Wushu competition is split into two parts — taolu, forms and san shou, full contact fighting. In previous championships we have competed in san shou and for this championship we will participate in taolu as well.

"This is a big step towards expanding our programme and improving the overall level and awareness of wushu on the Island."

The team represented Bermuda in the Pan American Championship in 2006 in Toronto and in 2008 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Asked where the idea for the cruise came from, he said: "I had the opportunity to attend an event aboard the Uber Vida earlier in the summer and everyone on board the yacht that evening had a blast.

"This was the first time that I had been aboard a charter yacht on the Island of this kind. The vessel has a feeling of elegance to it so it's a real treat just to cruise around on. Add a party element and it makes for a real good evening."

Mr. Wilkinson said the association is looking to raise as much money as possible.

"These trips are always self-funded with a bit of sponsorship through private companies and individuals and these fund-raisers just help to take the edge off a bit of our expenses. This particular venture is very expensive because the cost to get to Buenos Aires is astronomical."

He continued: "We will have a total of six Sanshou athletes and one taolu athlete. For san shou we will have four adult males — Sentwali Woolridge, Shannon Ford, Reyel Bowen, and Jermal Woolridge.

"We will have one female fighter, Talia Iris and one junior male fighter, Samir Furqan. Our lone taolu athlete will be myself."

The cost to attend the tournament is around $30,000.

Owner of the yacht Denis Owen said his company believes in helping "worthy causes".

"When the Sanshou Association approached us with the idea of donating the vessel to host a charitable fund raising event, we jumped at it. It's a great way to get involved with the community, help out a very worthy cause, and get the boats name out there."

Mr. Wilkinson said the feedback has been "very positive" and expects a diverse crowd made up of various sectors of the community.

As for what to look forward to, he said: "People can expect an opportunity to socialise and meet new people in a very nice happy hour atmosphere.

"The $30 ticket includes a delicious full meal and one free drink compliments of the fully stacked bar. The DJ, Silva Star promises to provide a variety of music from all genres in a relaxed atmosphere before he turns the vibes up for a full out party later in the evening."

Mr. Wilkinson said if people are unable to come to the events, the BSA is accepting donations: "Our sport has not been as fortunate as some of the other sports and we have not been the recipient of large amounts of government funding.

"We are hoping that this is something that will change in the very near future. Until then we will continue to attend overseas high calibre events through private sponsorship, fund-raisers and self funding.

"I want to encourage people to support the event because our athletes train like world class athletes while having to work full time and part time jobs and some having to support families. I want to ensure the community that your money will be well spent for athletes that are very deserving."

If Hurricane Igor hits the Island, the cruise will be postponed until September 24.

Call 747-8495 or visit www.sanshou.bm for more information.

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