A five year old boy from Abertillery, Roman Creel, has been named the top junior BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) athlete in the UK by the UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association (UKBJJA). Roman topped the white belt rankings this year after a string of successes in his local Welsh Kids BJJ League. His prize for his success is a free gi from sponsors Tatami and free entry to all UKBJJA ranked events in 2016.
Roman, who comes from Abertillery in South Wales, is the son of a top BJJ black belt Greg Creel and trains at Celtic Pride Martial Arts with BJJ coach Jamie Hughes and Judo coach Stephen Abberley. Despite his young years, Roman has already got the taste for competition and took 9 gold medals in his local BJJ Kids League, monthly events run for junior competitors across the country under the auspices of the UKBJJA, the sport's governing body elect. His coach Jamie Hughes praised his student: "Roman's done very well this year.... so worth it to see him improving so much and becoming a very talented competitor and all at 5!"
With the aim of encouraging young BJJ players like Roman, the UKBJJA has developed a ranking system which recognises the top junior BJJ players. This includes large national competitions as well local kids leagues. The aim of these regional events is to promote BJJ at grass roots level by giving children and teenagers regular, relaxed and well-organised competitions every month, in a safe environment with experienced referees. Roman's father helps run the Welsh Kids BJJ League with Neil Williams, a director of the UKBJJA, and this has been a great success in 2015, praised by parents and coaches alike for its fun and supportive atmosphere.
Roman will no doubt be back on the mats to compete in the 2016 but Greg commented: "Regardless of how well he does more than anything I'm happy to see him do something he truly enjoys."
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
|Name:||Francis Lambert||Name:||Kat Hill|
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The UKBJJA (www.ukbjja.org) is a not-for profit organisation which aims to provide a governance structure for the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, that promotes and develops the sport while allowing individual clubs and practitioners the space and freedom to practice the martial art in the way they enjoy. The UKBJJA is currently under assessment to be recognised by Sport England as the governing body for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the UK.
The UKBJJA was formed in 2013, and the association’s goal is to foster the development of BJJ at elite, community and grassroots levels, raising the profile of the sport but also providing pathways for development and involvement across communities in the UK. Visit UKBJJA at www.ukbjja.org or follow us on Twitter @ukbjja.