TEENAGER Alex Cameron has spoken of her shock after being selected for the England ITF team and is due to compete at the European Taekwon Do Championships in Finland next month.
The 17-year-old, from Binley, has been involved with martial arts for over five years and currently trains at the Tae Kwon-Do UK school, Warwick-TKD.
Under the stewardship of chief instructor and coach Martin Noddings, the North Leamington School student has achieved a first degree black belt and she is due to take her second degree shortly.
Now after impressing the England scouts during a trial day, Cameron has been selected for the ITF England Tae Kwon-Do team that will fly out to Tampere in Finland for the tournament which begins on April 28 and ends on May 1.
“I remember opening the email feeling a bit nervous and at the bottom it said they had offered me a place so I ran downstairs to tell my mum because I was so excited,” Cameron told the Observer.
“My aunt who also trains at Warwick-TKD with me was more excited than me! I felt amazing and it was insane that I got into the team.
“I was really nervous at the trials and I don’t think it was my best performance but it was still good enough to impress them.
“I’m really looking forward to the European Championships. I know I’ll be nervous but at the same time don’t think it will affect my performance.”
Cameron first took up the sport when she was a youngster but after attending a session at her local club she decided it was not for her but with the influence of her auntie, Cameron gave Tae Kwon-Do another go at the age of 12 where she was introduced to Martin Noddings at Warwick-TKD, something clicked and since then she has gone on to become one of the most feared competitors in Warwickshire.
Performing on the national stage should not come as a daunting experience for Cameron who came away from her first international tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden with a bronze medal.
“It felt completely different even though a lot of them spoke good English but it was nerve-racking because it was a whole new set of people and I had no idea what they were like so I went in blind sighted.”
One person who knows all about the pressure of representing your country is Cameron’s coach Martin Noddings who was a former England captain.
Noddings has more than 30 years’ experience in Tae Kwon-Do having competed in many national and international events, and the former European champion is confident his young prodigy will shine at the top level.
He added: “Alex is so driven and determined. She trains hard, puts a lot of hard work in and now it’s paid off.
“I’m not really surprised to see her get a call-up for England because at 17 she’s a real talent. She’s done so well to have been selected because normally you go through the development team first and then get selected from there.
“One of the benefits is that I used to be captain of the England team myself so I can impart my experience onto her. She handles pressure exceptionally well.”