Saturday Oct 13, 2018
MANCHESTER: At 12 years old, Iris Iftikhar hopes to win a Gold medal when she takes on the best young fighters from the UK at the British National Taekwondo Championship on October 27 and 28.
Iftikhar, a British-Pakistani, has already bagged a silver and two bronze medal, each, in London, Barnsley, and Scotland championships in the (-44) kilogramme category.
"All my success is due to my mother; she has supported me all the way through," she said, while talking to Geo News, "and it wouldn’t have been possible without her."
"For other kids, my message is that work hard and you will achieve your goals. Taekwondo is not only good for physical health but it is good for self-defence and mental health.”
The 12-year-old has overwhelmed her family as well with her success at the Junior Taekwondo Championship at such a young age.
"We should focus on our children's education as that is the way forward to prosper in this society but sports is where our Asian community is not very supportive to their children," her mother said.
"As a parent, if we give this support to our children and, especially girls, they [would not] fear when they go out. I believe that's the best thing we can do as human beings."
On the other hand, Iftikhar also talked about her training and her goals.
“My coach, Arooj, and my school have been really supportive too; my aim is to win Gold at the national championship. I am working really hard and my past experience of championship matches will surely help me win this time around.
"I want to make the British-Pakistani community proud, especially girls. My dream is to represent either England or Pakistan in the Olympics," she added.
The British Taekwondo National Championship will be held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield later this month, on October 27 and 28.