Taekwondo champion Tyha Currie looking to kick on to Olympics
Tyha Currie has been busy making up for lost time in the world of taekwondo and she has plenty of big dreams still to achieve.
The Bishop’s Stortford martial artist took up the sport at 15, but a combination of school work and being told she was risking a life-changing hip injury if she continued forced her to step away from what she loved.
She moved to this area from Scotland aged 18 and worked as cabin crew for a number of airlines at Stansted. The death of her father in 2012 and a desire to lose weight following the birth of her son Kodie tempted her back to taekwondo.
The decision has paid off handsomely as Currie, now 33, is the four-time British champion, world silver medallist in ladies’ blue belt, double Scottish patterns champion and English champion in sparring, and she has won multiple regional titles.
“School took over with exams and studying, and then I got a real bad injury that put me out,” said Currie, who lives in Grange Walk and is sponsored by Snap Fitness.
“They basically said I needed to stop taekwondo otherwise I’d end up in a wheelchair before I was 18 because I’d done so much damage to my hips.
“I decided to take a step back for a bit, and then my father passed away five years ago and I’d not long had my son. When Dad passed away he’d said he really wanted me to go back to taekwondo and that I was wasted not going back to it.
“I was 15 years older and nine stone heavier than when I originally started taekwondo, so I thought it would be quite a mean feat to go back and try to get back into the regime.
“I wanted to complete my dad’s last wish and I wanted to do it for my health and fitness as well.”
Currie, who achieved her first degree black belt in October, trains in Stevenage with John Powell having previously trained at Bishop’s Stortford & Epping Taekwondo.
And getting to represent Scotland before attempting to break into Team GB for a crack at the Olympics are Currie’s next big aims.
“My main goal, with all the hard work I’m going to try to put into it, would be to reach the Olympics one day,” said Currie, who works at Sainsbury’s in the town.
“I know it’s a massive dream, but I believe I can do it, I believe there’s still something in me and there’s more I can learn.”
Currie also has plans away from the competitive arena.
She is looking to open her own club with friend Angie Mitchell in order to coach the next wave of talent coming through in the sport that means everything to her.
“I’d love to bring new students through the ranks of taekwondo because I’ve seen how good it is for all sorts of people – men, women, children,” said Currie.
“It’s particularly good for kids with learning disabilities like autism and ADHD as it gives them a focus point.
“It’s nice to see people evolve with taekwondo and in the world of sport, and keep the fitness levels up in the youngsters.
“I want to coach, I want my own school, I want my own business. Taekwondo feels to me as if it’s what I should have always been involved in.”