Wednesday, 23 January 2013

60 SECONDS INTERVIEW: Sharon Ward


ALTHOUGH Sharon Ward lives in Eastleigh, she spends her weekends at her parents’ home in Raymonds Hill, near Lyme Regis, and also returns on Tuesdays to teach at Lyme Regis Taekwondo Club. Sharon grew up in Surrey and her parents moved to the area in 1994. Whilst staying with them she had to travel to Weymouth or Bournemouth to train in taekwondo, so eventually set up her own club in 2005. She currently works at the MoD Camp in Worthy Down, Winchester, at the Junior Ranks Mess.

HOW did you first become interested in taekwondo?
I first got involved in taekwondo while I was living in London, to help with my asthma, as I had read that martial arts and especially taekwondo was very good for controlling it. I found a local club and started training. I loved it, my asthma improved amazingly and 14 years later the rest, they say, is history. 

WHEN did you set up Lyme Regis Taekwondo Club?
I set up my club in 2005 as, while I was living down here, I had to travel to Weymouth and Bournemouth to train which is quite far away. I also noticed that Lyme doesn’t have enough facilities to provide children or adults with the opportunity to sample varied sports. It was limited to football or cricket. So I decided I would love to share my skills with people and let them experience a very different sport. 

TELL us about your classes…
I run two classes - one for children aged from four and a half or five years upwards, and then an adults or senior grade class. We meet on Tuesdays at the Scout Hut in Rhode Lane. Children’s class from 5pm to 6.30pm and adults from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. The classes are for all abilities, anyone regardless of their age or physical ability can join. 

WHAT are the benefits of taking up taekwondo?
There are many benefits to taking up taekwondo. It can improve overall health, fitness, flexibility, co-ordination, balance and stamina. You gain confidence as you progress. It also gives you a sense of achievement when you manage to master a technique or gain a grade. As with any excercise you always get a feel good feeling.

YOU attended the London Olympics last year. What did you get to see?
I was lucky enough to get tickets to see taekwondo at the Olympics, the only thing I applied for and wanted to see. For me, I enjoyed the atmosphere everywhere and the satisfaction that, for once, people all over the world and country get to see the sport I love on television, watching the best players (fighters). I also enjoyed the fact that I was there! I have something to tell my nephews, my students and future students – the best multi-sport competition in the world came to our country and I was there! It will never happen again in my lifetime. I have amazing memories that will stay with me forever and long after the hype all died down.

HOW did you feel about Team GB winning gold in taekwondo?
I think my reaction was tension followed by loud screams, woops, jumping up and down, punching the air, tears, and a huge grin! Oh, and of course a massive sense of pride. I had always thought that Jade Jones would bring us back the gold as she was our best fighter. If they had let Aaron Cook in the team they would have had two golds. It made me feel that more people may now start taking an interest in taekwondo, and realising what it is, and hoping that big companies will help fund training Dojangs, athletes and small clubs like they do with football and other mainstream sports.

WHAT are your personal interests?
Other than taekwondo I enjoy the outdoors - camping, walking (all stemmed from being a Guide and Guide Leader), going to the gym, swimming, cycling, running. I also enjoy reading and baking.

WHAT do you like about Lyme Regis and the surrounding area?
What I really love about Lyme and surrounding areas is the amazing scenery, the sea, the friendliness of the people and the community spirit.

WHAT would you change about the town if you could?
If I could I would make sure that there was lots of different sports available to everyone - not just children. Utilise the facilities that we have, maximise to benefit the community rather than just seeing them go to waste or getting used for just one thing. There is a lot of land/buildings that can be used more. I would have indoor facilities that can be used for planned outdoor activities when the rain hits, so they don’t have to be cancelled. I would have less restrictions on parking times to help keep the locals here and attract tourists, not just in the summer months.

WHERE is your ideal holiday destination?
I have two ideal holidays. One would be to be Hudson bay, Churchill, Cananda. The reason being one of my passions is polar bears and I have always wanted to go to Hudson Bay and go out in a Tundra Buggy to see the polar bears up close. My other has to be South Korea, Birthplace of Taekwondo. Iwould love to be able to go over there and experience the culture and get to train with the best.

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