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‘The main thing is to learn from any mistakes’

Published: 3rd February 2017

It’s been a busy few weeks for taekwondo sports scholar and first year student Ellen Ince. Taekwondo, for the uninitiated, is a Korean martial art of self-defence which literally translates as ‘the art of hand and foot.’

Ellen, who has been perfecting the art of taekwondo since the age of nine, recently returned from the Rome Open, only her second competition as a senior. This weekend she is competing in her first ever kickboxing competition, the Irish Open in Citywest.

Ellen didn’t come home from Rome empty handed. “I won gold for patterns,” she says, “but unfortunately lost out in sparring to the current -62kg senior European champion from Poland.”

On the plus side, she says, the fight was close and went to extra time. “I was happy enough with my performance – the standard of competition was very high. Medals are a bonus but the main thing is to learn from any mistakes and improve on them before the next one.”

Although she has played other sports – Gaelic football, basketball, camogie – Ellen “fell in love with” taekwondo from day one. “When I was younger I dreamed of being on the national team. It’s nice to look back now and see how far I’ve come.”

In taekwondo there is a European championship every year and a world championship every two years. This year Ireland will host the tournament in October in Citywest.

“Selections for world championships take place this month. It’s every athlete’s dream to represent their country on home soil. One of my hopes for this year is to be part of what is going to be the biggest event in Irish taekwondo history.”

  • Ellen Ince competes in the Irish Kickboxing Open, Citywest, which continues until Sunday. Selection for world championships takes place on March 25