GB Taekwondo’s Fighting Chance Initiative Welcome 9 British Taekwondo Members!

The next generation of fighters have been identified by GB Taekwondo and are poised to take their places alongside many of the world’s elite!

269 applications later and a gruelling selection process, a total of 9 athletes (5 females and 4 male) have successfully graduated from the Fighting Chance talent ID initiative. We are proud to share that all 9 athletes are from British Taekwondo clubs! 

For more than a decade the scheme delivered by GB Taekwondo in partnership with UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport has fast-tracked a plethora of athletes from a variety of martial arts backgrounds into the world of high-performance sport.

Previous graduates include triple European champion, Lauren Williams, World Championship silver medallist, Damon Sansum and double Olympic medallist, Lutalo Muhammad.

The newcomers are:

Female:

Jodie McKew, Dollingstown, Craigavon (from Horizon Taekwondo Academy)

Mia Pachansky, Bromley (from Aquila Taekwondo)

Catherine Makanjuola, Eltham (from Aquila Taekwondo)

Kimberley Barnes, Southampton (from Whiston Taekwondo)

Maisie Hockey, Biddenham, Bedford (from Team Ultimate Martial Arts)

Male:

Joshua Dancer, Nottingham (from Nottingham Taekwondo Club)

Jacob Fairhead, Farnham, Surrey (from Predator Taekwondo)

Joshua Long, Spennymoor, Durham (from Warrior Taekwondo)

Danyaal Butt, Glasgow (from Elite Martial Arts Academy)

Jodie, Mia and Danyaal all represented GB at the 2018 European Cadet Championships, whilst Joshua Long represented GB at the 2019 European Juniors.

Jodie has already sampled senior competition, taking part in this year’s European Championships in Bulgaria.

Jodie said “the championships made me want to start training full-time straight away so I can’t wait to move to Manchester. My aim is to train as hard as I can every day to get better and improve so I can achieve my goals and dreams. When I got through I was so excited and phoned my parents straight away because they have helped me along the way.”

Jacob said: “I was at the dentist with my mum when the email came through. I knew what it was but I didn’t want to open it. It was the longest drive home ever. When I saw I had made it I was thrilled and couldn’t stop smiling. I want to learn as much as I can about all aspects of being an athlete to help me progress towards my goal of winning the Olympics.”

The newcomers will move to Manchester to begin their new careers early in July.

British Taekwondo are incredibly proud of all 9 athletes and wish them all the best of luck!

Could you be our stars of the future? Remember, hard work pays off! Continue to train hard, stay motived and listen to your coach, and you too could be in with a chance of being our next Olympian!