When did you first try Taekwondo?
I first tried it in September 2019. However, I’d spent the previous 10 years watching my children train most evenings – looking back, I wish I’d given it a go earlier.
What did you most enjoy about the first session?
I felt like I’d actually done some exercise and achieved something. I’d never ached so much in all my life the following day – I could barely make it up and down the stairs; I was so unfit at the time but I’m glad I stuck with it. I’m slightly more resilient now, when I started I’d scream and run for the hills if I thought anyone was actually going to kick me!
How long have you been doing Taekwondo?
I’ve been doing it almost four years now, and obviously through the lockdown period training switched to online methods but it kept me going.
How often do you train?
I train around four to five times each week at NTC and then there is usually Para Squad training once a month in Manchester. I love being at the Club, it’s a family atmosphere – I’m forever saying I’m going home in a minute and still being there two hours later!
Why is Taekwondo the activity for you?
I took it up because I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and it really helps build my core strength and now I just love it!
What makes you carry on training?
I really enjoy it. From spending the best part of 20 years doing absolutely no exercise at all I am totally converted. It’s also the people – Coaches; Students; Parents; Supporters; at NTC we are a real family.
Do you practice the combat sport, poomsae, or the martial art?
Mainly poomsae and traditional. And I do go to the occasional sparring class.
Have you competed in any events?
I’ve been competing in Para-Poomsae events for the last two years.
My favourite event has been one of the recent competitions at Gajok where the para competitors were given the chance to also compete in a Pairs and Teams category – I won in both!
If someone is reading this and hasn’t ever stepped onto a Taekwondo mat, what would you say to them to help them give it a go?
Just give it a go! Everyone is really supportive and happy to help. I was the only adult in the class when I first started; the kids just accepted me, and we’ve all progressed together.
What is the best thing about Taekwondo?
Apart from the exercise, all the people that I’ve met over the years right back from when my kids started I still see the same faces from different clubs.
I’ve met some amazing people along the way; and now I’ve got to know and enjoy spending time with my Para-Poomsae Teammates. Most of all, the amazing coaches who give up so much of their time to help grow and develop others.
Do you have any top tips for training?
Don’t give up however difficult it gets.
What are you hopes for the future in your Taekwondo journey?
I really want to earn my black belt, I’m so close now there is no way I’m giving up.