Sweets funded sport
Taekwondo isn’t a cheap sport to learn. The outfits, called doboks, cost money, as do the lessons. For the then 11-year-old Bianca Walkden, the money was a problem. “My mum and dad didn’t have that much,” she remembers. “I used to have £5 for my dinner so I used to go to the shop, buy £5 worth of 10p sweets and sell them at school for 20p. I’d make a fiver profit each day, because I wanted to go to taekwondo.”
Now aged 25, her dedication has paid off; Walkden won bronze at the Rio Olympics last year. This summer, she won the world title at the World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea, before taking gold at a tournament in Russia. She’s determined that in the next Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020, she'll get gold. That would be sweet.
Walkden competed at Rio 2016.