A Northampton woman who found strength in Taekwondo after an oppressive relationship, has won three bronze medals at a world championship competition.
Taekwondo black belt, Sarah Dugdale, only started competing again in January 2012, but rose to success this month when she entered the UITF World Championships.
The 32-year-old, from Kings Heath, Northampton, won a bronze medal in individual sparring, a bronze medal for sparring and a bronze medal for patterns as a member of the ladies team after finding the sport at a challenging time in her life.
She said: “I was going through a really tough time, I’d broken up with my first love and we had to sell our home.
“I then ended up with a guy who left me feeling mentally and physically overpowered. So I made a decision to take control of my life and not to let anyone have that power again.
“Then I received a leaflet though my door about Taekwondo and I knew it was the answer I’d been looking for.”
Miss Dugdale took up the sport aged 22, winning her first gold medals at a local inter-club competition in 2005 and a bronze at the global Taekwondo UK championships.
She took a break from the sport in 2008 but began competing again with huge success last year.
She said: “I returned with a determination to train hard. In June I competed an international competition and was then selected to be a member of the GTUK England Squad.
“This month I entered my first world championship competition and I am over joyed to have had this success.
“I have worked hard for what I have achieved and have loved every minute of it.”
Miss Dugdale said she still gets nervous before competing, but finds it very empowering. She now runs her own Taekwondo club, DugdaleTKD, training at Upton Meadows Primary School on Mondays from 6.30m–8pm. For details, visit www. dugdaletkd.co.uk.