Motherwell's Emma Swan moving serenely through the taekwon-do ranks
Motherwell taekwon-do champion Emma Swan hasn’t let the coronavirus lockdown get in the way of her putting in plenty of hours at the Korean martial art.
Blue belt Emma (9), who has won World Championship medals at Ravenscraig sports facility in Motherwell in her age category in recent years, got into the sport in the first place over two years ago thanks to the influence of her grandad Lindsay (59), also of Motherwell.
He said: “I was picking Emma up from school and driving home one day when I saw a poster (for taekwon-do) and said to her: ‘How do you fancy trying that?’
“So we went down for a look and right from the word go she thought it was fantastic.
“Emma is just incredible. She’s got absolutely no fear and loves it.
“She does a lot of sparring, patterns and high kick stuff at competitions.
“During lockdown, the instructors have done a fantastic job of putting training routines online and they do it through Zoom.
“Before the online stuff, she would go to four training sessions a week, maybe more.”
Coached by Colin Campbell, 2nd Dan black belt, Emma is a member of the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Council (UKTC) and she looks up to a fellow Briton, double Olympic taekwon-do gold medallist Jade Jones of Wales.
Emma got the training pad in our picture as a Christmas present and massively works out on that.
“She does a minimum of an hour a day on the pad because we’ve got to try and do the home schooling thing as well,” Lindsay said.
“And at the weekend she runs either 5k or 10k with her dad Chris (who is involved in kickboxing along with partner Kirsty).
“Taekwon-do has taught Emma respect, discipline and given her a brighter outlook on everything. Her fitness levels are incredible.
“There are no limits as to how far she can go in taekwon-do. My goal for her is to see her with a black belt on and then after that it’s whatever she does.”
Glencairn Primary School pupil Emma, who last fought in March, is keen to return to the ring.
Lindsay said: “At the moment, Emma is desperate to get back into the sparring, the full contact.
“I noticed that, down in England, they are now organising outdoor training with social distancing in place.
“Hopefully that will start here soon. And I’m hoping that by November competitors can at least be inside doing taekwon-do at a social distance.”