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Jacquelin Holohan says competing at the Kickboxing World Championships will be one of the “biggest challenges of my life”.
She has won a silver and bronze medal at the Taekwondo World Championships but Jacquelin Holohan says representing England at the Kickboxing World Championships in Crete next month will be one of the “biggest challenges of my life”.
Holohan, pictured, only took up martial arts two years ago but believes the skills she has obtained has helped her in her job as a pastoral support manager at St James’ Catholic High School in Colindale.
“I have gained a lot of self control doing martial arts,” she explains. “I always try and focus on the positives rather than the negatives and that is something that I encourage the pupils to do.
“Sparring is not my favourite part of martial arts and that is the same as a pupil who doesn’t enjoy a certain subject.
“They focus on the negatives but don’t realise that if you switch your mentality and push yourself then you can achieve a lot.”
Holohan, who trains at Master Wolf’s Taekwon-Do Academies, competed at the Taekwondo World Championships in August after the competition was moved from South Korea to Hatfield due to the political situation in Korea.
“It really helped me because I wouldn’t have been able to enter had it been held in Korea,” Holohan said. “If it had been held in Korea the competition would only have been for black belts.
“The fact that it was just down the road for me made a big difference because I am not the best traveller. So I didn’t have that particular headache and that certainly helped my positive mindset.”
Holohan won a silver medal in the colour belt division of sparring where she fought ladies above her weight.
She followed that up with bronze in the colour belt division mixed patterns but says it should have been a gold.
She explained: “I am very proud of what I achieved. Going into the competition, I put myself in the positive mindset that I was going to come back with a medal and I think that is very important.
“I should have won a gold medal in the mixed patterns but we were placed into the same category with the men.
“But finishing with a bronze in that category is still a very big achievement and one I am very pleased with.”
A trip to Greece next month will again test the 33-year-old. She will be competing predominantly against black belts and admits it will be a “huge challenge”.
She added: “So I will be taking on the biggest challenge of my life but it shows that I am pushing myself.
“I train twice a week for three hours a day but the closer I will get to the championships I will try to train as often as possible."
Headteacher at St James’, Niamh Arnull, said: “I am pleased and proud that Jackie is making such a valuable contribution to our community – making a difference for our students and leading by example in making the most of her considerable talents.”
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