Thursday, 07 November 2013
University of Worcester Sports Therapy student, Yasmin Lee, has recently returned from the Shito-Ryu karate World Championships in Tokyo, where she reached the quarter final in one event and the last four in another, narrowly missing out on a medal.
Yasmin has been competing in karate since the age of seven, when her mother arranged for her to attend a local martial arts club as a change from dance lessons. She has competed at national championships before, as well as at several tournaments overseas, but never in a tournament of the size and scale of the World Championships.
Yasmin said: "In the UK karate is still a bit of a niche sport, but in Japan it's totally different. The standard was incredible.
"It's hard to compete because many of the Japanese are funded professionals. My motto is 'do yourself proud', that's what I compete for, and by reaching a world semis, I did that."
For Yasmin, the trip wasn't all about the combat. Celebrated karate masters held a range of seminars and workshops that delved deeper in to the discipline. There was also a chance to sample Japanese culture and the delights of Tokyo life.
Yasmin explains: "It was an amazing experience. Tokyo is as built up and busy as London, but no one's in a rush. It's calm and peaceful.
"It's a place of contrasts, on one side of the street you have massive skyscrapers and bright lights, on the other side a beautiful garden with statues and waterfalls."
Yasmin was awarded funding by the University of Worcester Scholarship Scheme to help meet the cost of the trip. The Scholarship Scheme is open to applications from students who would benefit from financial support to help them undertake rewarding extra curricula opportunities, such as volunteering overseas, or competing at elite sports events.
Yasmin continues: "The University scholarship played a big part in making this all possible. It helped meet the cost of travel, accommodation, and equipment. I also had to work really hard throughout the summer to meet the rest of the costs myself.”
Following her Japanese adventure this summer, Yasmin is now keen to further her ambitions, aiming to win an international title within two years. Away from karate, she intends to make the most of her time at University, continuing her studies and exploring a range of future career possibilities.