Student Heads for Kickboxing World Championships
Thursday, 17 October 2019
A University of Worcester student is to compete for England in a major international kickboxing competition this weekend.
Grace Rock, a second year PE and Outdoor Education student, will take part in the International Combat Association (ICO) World Championships, in Glasgow, which starts tomorrow (Friday, October 18) and runs until Sunday (October 20).
The 19-year-old, of Telford, Shropshire, said: “I am feeling nervous and excited for this World Championships. I have trained so hard and sacrificed a lot and put my blood sweat and tears, literally, to be ready for this competition so I hope it all pays off.”
The annual competition is a knock out tournament, so Grace will be hoping to make it through to the Sunday.
Grace, who competes in the women’s 19-35 age bracket for 55kg, became a double World Champion on the matts and rings in 2017, titles she hopes to reclaim this time around after not competing last year. She is also hoping to retain her place as British champion for a fourth consecutive year.
“This weekend I am aiming for Gold,” she said. “I feel a lot of pressure on me as I came back last time with two Golds and undefeated, but I am in a new age category this year so I’m going to have to put all my training into practice and do the best that I can possibly do.”
Grace started kickboxing at the age of 12. She used to be an elite gymnast but, after suffering several injuries, took a break and got recommended to have a go at kickboxing and never looked back. Grace trains at LSK Kickboxing Club in Telford four days a week, alongside gym work and competitions, but also trains in Birmingham with the England squad once a month. She has been part of the squad for five years.
“I love this sport because it challenges and pushes me to different levels I didn’t think I was capable off,” she said. “I have achieved titles such as a World Champion which I never thought I would be able to say. This sport has allowed me to grow as a person and become more confident which has now guided me on to a career pathway within sport.”