Meet Solid Athlete Jordyn Smith – she splits her time between secondary school and GB Taekwondo’s Development Programme in Manchester. Jordyn is the current Junior World Champion and has just won Bronze in the European Senior category.
Have you always been involved in sport?
When I was younger my mum took me to dancing but I wasn’t very good - I HATED it! My mum and dad just wanted me to do something to keep me happy (and busy!) during the week.
How did you get into Taekwondo?
My dad took me along to a local club, Central Taekwondo Academy, just down the road from my house when I was 4 years old. He was worried that I was going to get picked on at the school for having ginger hair. At first, I was really nervous because I was quite a shy wee girl and I would run out of the class and hide behind my dad because I was scared of all the loud shouts and high kicks. I remember a couple weeks in my dad said, “this is it, if you don’t like it I won’t take you back” and there must have been something in me deep down because ever since then I haven’t looked back.
Where do you do your training?
I’m training in Manchester at the GB National Taekwondo Academy right now, 5 days a week usually twice a day, sometimes more. It can be quite intense. I come home at weekends and see my family. Occasionally I’ll fit in some extra training in the back garden on my Solid Athletix rig.
What does your training involve?
I train Monday to Friday and over the 5 days I have around 7 Kicking sessions and around 3-5 strength and conditioning sessions. My S & C usually consists of body weight exercises and some weighted exercises. I do them in sets and in circuit forms. I sometimes use the functional training system (made by Solid Athletix) to do upper body work but the boys seem to use it a lot more.
Where did you grow up?
I’ve always lived in Carronshore, Falkirk. I went to Carronshore Primary School and then Larbert High School - I’m now finishing up my 5th year so I can focus on my training. I’ll always call Carronshore ‘home’ because I’m with my family and it just feels more normal and more chilled!
What are your greatest sporting achievements to date?
I became Commonwealth Champion in 2014, in my home country Edinburgh, Scotland. I won the Cadet Europeans in 2015 and got bronze at the Cadet Worlds in 2015. I’m currently the Junior World Champion (2018) and recently got bronze in the Senior European Championships (2018).
What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think the biggest challenge is dealing with school work and training at the same time. I’m sitting my higher exams right now so it’s quite difficult having to train, study and then train again, because it means I don’t get a lot of free time.
What is your next target and where do you want to get to in the sport?
My next target is to be selected to go to the Grand Prix’s which are held over the year in various places around the world. These competitions are high ranked and have the best people in the world competing in them. You can collect a lot of points at these comps if you do well and these points get put on your record which add up and help you to potentially go to the Olympics. The highest ranked athletes go to the Olympics. My main goal is to be Olympic champion and this could possibly be as soon as 2020 in Tokyo. If Tokyo doesn’t happen, 2024 definitely will!