In October 2012, hot on the heels of the London Olympics, the UK became the first western European country to host a world Kurash championship when the World Junior and Cadet Championships took place at Harewood College in Bournemouth.
What made this event different from any other global sports championship (and undoubtedly secured the BKA’s world championship bid over those from Brazil, Poland, Mongolia and Chinese Taipei) was that it also doubled as an educational joint-venture. In making the preparations for the championships, 2000 students and staff from Harewood and Avonbourne Colleges enjoyed the opportunity to learn about Uzbek culture and history whilst also providing the organizational, technical and volunteer support required to stage such a prestigious event.
Home advantage proved decisive for the British team who won 13 medals, including gold from Victoria Cleevely. Only Uzbekistan won more. In the IKA’s annual awards for 2012, the BKA was judged to be the best national federation for its organization of these championships. Furthermore, Harewood College were awarded a national commendation from the Youth Sports Trust for their unique use of sport as a catalyst for learning in schools.