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Competing with the Taekwondo England team

One of the questions I regularly get asked particularly by the young people I coach every week is what is it like to compete with the Taekwondo England team!

Everything you could imagine and much more – as things have come a long way since I used to compete in the 90s!!!

I enjoyed every minute I was part of the Taekwondo England team even though things were quite different back then. There was no money in the sport, so it had to be a real passion for the athletes who competed. What we experienced was really amazing, and I got to travel all over the world to places I would have never been to otherwise! Going to the US or even travelling across Europe was very exciting and carried a real sense of adventure.

It’s fantastic to see now that someone like Sarah Stevenson is able to take part in the Olympics as a recognised athlete. Unfortunately in my day Taekwondo wasn’t recognised as an Olympic discipline, it was only a demonstration sport. Even then I would have loved to go – although by 1998 I had already retired I was so excited for my friend who was representing England.

There were many challenges for sure but nothing that worried me. The worst thing really was that fear that we all had that we could lose our place in the England Taekwondo team!

For me the best thing was that from 1992 to 1995 I won 99% of the tournaments I entered; this was an unbelievable time. I enjoyed every minute of it and if I could go back and do it again, of course I would.

I am really looking forward for the 2012 Olympic games to kick off and think it’s brilliant to have it all happening in the UK. Only wish I had some tickets – don’t you? If you do, share with us which event you will be attending.



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