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Fighting Chance Graduates Ready For World Examination

A trio of GB Taekwondo athletes have been selected to represent Great Britain at this summer’s World University Games in Taipei.

Courtney Eardley, who has also been chosen to compete for Great Britain at next month’s WTF World Taekwondo Championships, Pooja Vadhva and Jacob Barnett form the three strong squad travelling to the Far East in August. (19-30)

All three joined the GB Academy in Manchester, via the Fighting Chance talent ID initiative, last year.

Eardley has already made her mark in the World Taekwondo Federation arena, winning medals in Croatia last year and then following up earlier this year with bronze at the Belgian Open and silver at the President’s Cup in Athens.

“Having to be an athlete and still doing a degree is pretty difficult,” says the 18-year-old from Wakefield, a first year student at Sheffield Hallam University.

“It is challenging doing both,” adds Eardley, studying for a Sport and Exercise degree.

“You sometimes have a few hours between training sessions to do a bit of revision. You are tired and you just want to recover.

“But you know you need to prioritise so you have to lock yourself away. And I am the sort of person who likes to be faced with challenges.

“So, even though I complain a bit about having to revise and stuff, if I didn’t have anything to do I would be really bored.”

For Barnett, his selection is another opportunity to add to his student honours. “I went to the European University Games in Croatia last year and managed to pick up a gold medal,” he said. “So, that was good practice for this next challenge.”

Vadhva, whose aim is to represent GB at the 2020 Olympics is studying at the University of Manchester.

“I am determined now more than ever to continue to fight internationally and to win a gold medal,” she says. “My coaches have also told me that the 2020 Olympics is realistic.”


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