Amy Connell European Karate Bronze Medalist inspires

This Karate Blog is from our latest Podcast and is part 6 of 6

Amy Connell is one of Britain’s top fighters. She is a WKF European Bronze Medalist in Kumite, and represented Team GB at the European Games in Minsk. She now has her sights set on Tokyo 2021.

How close do you feel you are to becoming the fighter you ultimately want to be? 

Good question erm personally, I still think i’ve got a long way to go. I think that i’m happy where I am. I know that i’m pushing to get better every day but I still think that i’ve got a lot left in me to give and a lot left to improve on. I don’t know if you ever speak to an athlete and they are like i’m good, i’m good, i’m here, I have arrived or if it’s always like that because I know for me I have not got there yet, I know that there’s big mountains I have got to climb, there’s things that I really want to achieve and, to become the athlete that I want to be. There’s a lot of work, a lot of hard work still to get done. 

What are your feelings now that it’s been revealed karate is not going to be in the 2024 Olympics?

I think that hit a lot of people hard. I don’t think a lot of people expected it. I know I personally didn’t expect it, we heard about it a while ago but obviously becoming official it was an interesting one so it was, but when I started my karate career it wasn’t even in the Olympics so I need to be so grateful that i’ve got the opportunity to potentially be a contender at this one, so I think it’s sad for the sport that it is not going to be in 2024 for a lot of the younger kids coming through and for people that don’t have the opportunity for this one because I just think it’s a great spectators sport, I’m probably a little bit biased but, I think it’s great for people to watch, so I think it is sad that it’s not going to be in 2024 but fingers crossed you never know in the future.

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Finally, do you have any advice for up and coming fighters, particularly female fighters because we still tend to be in a male dominated sports world at the moment.

If this is something you love and you enjoy it and you want to do it and you are just a little bit scared of whether you can or not, just give it everything you have got. I learned that from a young age, leave nothing on the table, if it’s what you want to do find you’re flow with it stick with good people around you, have good teammates, have good people around you, that believe in you and just go the full way because I think it just shows that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

I’m a firm believer of that and I think that, it’s just like being okay with the obstacles, that there’s going to be obstacles that come up no matter what we do, whether it’s sport or other stuff so I remember thinking like I may as well have obstacles come up in the one thing that i’m really passionate about doing. 

I think like you were saying it is quite a male dominated sport and it is starting to have more females coming through and I think that it’s just understanding it’s it is a sport for everybody.  I think that is hopefully becoming more apparent now, it’s just I am a big advocate of that. Like I think it used to be quite a masculine sport, but I wear makeup I wear dresses, it is a sport that you can do both, that you can you can be a fighter on the mat and another person outside, it’s totally up to you what you want from it. So I think that for kids growing up being able to see that’s a big thing for them.

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