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Joshua Iyalla Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren

martial arts taekwondo

Joshua competes in taekwondo, having been encouraged into martial arts by his parents. He talks to Sundried about the challenges of competing and his aspirations for the future.

Have you always been into sport?

From the age of 4 I have been immersed in the sporting world engaging in football, swimming, athletics, table tennis, running and martial arts (competing in all).

What made you enter the world of Taekwondo?

My dad encouraged me to do it from a young age as he believed the art of self-defence was very important. After testing and evaluating many martial arts, taekwondo was the one which we preferred.

What’s been your favourite competition to date?

The English Open in 2018, I achieved a gold in this tournament and discovered the England Taekwondo Squad which has accelerated my abilities exponentially.

And your proudest sporting achievement?

Winning the ATMA/STKD championship in 2016 was a phenomenal achievement for me. Competing against several different martial arts in sparring, being one of the youngest competitors in my weight category and entering my first national competition meant it is my most memorable tournament to this day.

Have you had any competition disasters?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have suffered nothing more than a sore nose in several years of competing!

How do you overcome setbacks?

Whenever I lose a fight I always watch it back and critically analyse everything I did wrong. I then implement new training drills so hopefully I will not make the same mistakes.

What advice do you wish you’d been given before you stated competing?

My instructors prepared me very well for tournaments, emphasising the difficulty and the ruthless nature of tournament sparring relative to class sparring. One thing inhibiting my performance was the lack of confidence due to overwhelming nerves. The mental aspect of competing is not to be underestimated.

What are your goals for 2019?

To develop into a much greater fighter and hopefully compete in my first tournament as an adult achieving gold. As I compete in my very first international tournament I aspire to win a gold, however balancing A-levels as well as intense training makes this an ambitious task.

What do you take inspiration from?

Watching Bruce Lee with his unrivalled speed inspired me to train harder attempting to emulate his movement. Also, seeing the rise of Anthony Joshua from such humble beginnings to being one of the world’s greatest boxers has provided testament that hard work really does pay off. I’m extremely grateful for my parents as they are constantly motivating me and encouraging me in every aspect of my life, especially my sporting journey. Both being extremely sporty, I aspire to achieve their dedication when I get to their age!

What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of kit?

I love that Sundried is dedicated to a bright, sustainable future. The concept of exchanging your lunch break for 10 minutes of exercise is a great incentive for many people that usually don’t get enough exercise to do so, due to 10 minutes being such a short period of time! Also Sundried’s dedication to charity makes it such a great brand to be a part of.

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