Having a thirteen year old daughter who is the youngest member of the Team GB TaeKwondo Team, who has just won three gold medals and one silver in the European Championships held near Barcelona, after only just over six months of participating in it competitively, would inevitably fill you with pride if not a little amazement. But you have to question whether it might make you feel slightly uneasy. Knowing you have a pocket battleship sleeping in the bedroom across the landing, might prove a concern to some….
But not to Simon Oakes, Wilo UK’s Sales Director – Water Management, whose daughter Emily has just achieved exactly that! “It is quite amazing,” he admits, “but we sort of take it in our stride now. She has always been very sporty and ultra-competitive and when this started to happen about four years ago, we went with it, supported her as best we could and now accept it as part of every-day life!”
The European Finals took place recently over three days of hard competition before the titles were awarded. Emily is seeded number one Junior in the UK, and in Europe and next year she should have an official Junior World Seeding. She is currently seeded 12th overall senior and junior and again is by far the youngest competitor at this level of the sport. All quite extraordinary, as David Coleman would have said.
At the European Championships, she competed in the Junior events of Sparring (fighting) and Patterns (technical) and won double gold, before competing as a member of the normal adult team in the same events with competitors 18 years and older – and managed a gold and a silver at that level too. She also won a special award for being the most outstanding overall competitor in recognition of her tally of three gold’s and one silver. Emily competes as a welterweight – that’s in the 45-50kg weight group – she actually weighs 44kgs so is competing under-weight as well, but to no one’s surprise it clearly isn’t a handicap! She actually prefers to fight bigger opponents – her favourite being middle weight males if possible. Unfortunately, we have no comments from middle weight males as to how they feel about that….
Wilo UK and CPL (part of the Wilo Group) along with two Wilo customers – G Stow plc and Arfon Rewinds – sponsor Emily in her exploits and it seems likely that she will go on to achieve ever increasing swathes of medals to add to her tidy little haul already.
Wilo UK MD Gary Mannus says: “We’re delighted to be able to support Emily in her TaeKwondo exploits. Frankly, we’re just really glad she’s on our side!”