Jeamy is a 12-year-old from Southampton who has claimed the title of British National Champion before striking gold in her first International Tournament a week later at the Swedish Open. She also won a silver medal at the US Open last year – the largest open Taekwondo championships in the world. She was eager to go for gold this year, however a injury prevented her from competing in the tournament. Jeamy, who is looking to get fit and be ready to make her British National Team debut at the European Championships in Romania next June and to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games.
- What first attracted you to your chosen sport?
When I was 8 years old my parents wanted me to participate in an extra curricular activity outside of school. They enrolled me in a ballet class but I really hated it and only lasted 3 weeks. Following this short stint in a tutu I accompanied a friend to a taekwondo session and instantly fell in love with this korean martial art. I was really impressed with all the different fancy kicks and techniques.
- Why do you like competitive sport?
The intensity of the feelings involved when taking part in competitive sport is addictive. The mix of anticipation and aprehension when stepping onto the ring before a fight, the sense of achievement when reaching a target or the joy and pride of winning a tournament cannot be replicated in other aspects of life.
- How has sport changed your life?
Being dedicated to sport means making difficult choices and sacrifices, but also brings on new experiences and opportunities. Before being involved with sport I would never have imagined myself getting up at 5.30am every day to go training before school, or missing my best friend’s birthday party for a tournament. On the other hand travelling and competing all over the world, giving TV interviews, and being invited to train with World and Olympic champions are experiences that most 12 year olds can only dream of. Sport has also been an opportunity for me to meet some fantastic people and develop great friendships through common interest in taekwondo.
- Have you had any success in encouraging your peers to take up sport or physical activity?
My coach is running a session at my school now so I am always trying to get my classmates to give it a go. However, taekwondo being a full contact sport, many girls are scared to try it out. I have more success in inspiring and encouraging my team mates to train more and reach their full potential.