Current New College Pontefract student, Harry Willmott, 16 from Crofton, has recently become a three-time world champion in Tae Kwon Do. After winning a silver medal in the under 18 forms category and 2x bronzes in team categories with his sister. In total, Harry achieved 2x bronzes, 1x silver and 1x gold, meaning he is now a 3x World Champion.
Speaking after the event, Harry said, “I began doing Tae Kwon Do at the age of 5, achieved black belt at 10, my second degree at 12 and third degree at 15. I initially got into the sport for practical, self-defence reasons and for something to do on a weekend. But that gradually became more days a week and once I started training for competitions that increased to 5 times a week of roughly 2 hours a day and 4-5 hours on a Saturday.
I first competed in 2012, reached the England team in 2014 and competed at my first world championships in Italy in the November of that year, achieving a silver medal in a category of 5. The following year I remained with the team and we went to Spain for the world championships and I achieved Gold in the traditional under 18s Tae Kwon do Forms category. In 2017 I replicated my efforts at the Unity World Games to win my second world title and last weekend. I did so again to win my third world title in the same category.
The sport is all about discipline and I certainly have learned that through many hours of hard work and graft on the mats. This was shown as after reaching third degree I was awarded with an induction to the martial arts show hall of fame.
At the worlds this year, myself and others from the England team had the chance to compete against the national teams of Germany, Poland, USA, Argentina, Czech Republic and Ireland. Over the two days, although competing against one another, we all were able to swap shirts and take team photos together, which incorporates the meaning of martial arts, we all are a community.
Tom Shepherd, Head of Sport at New College Pontefract, said, “Harry has hit the ground running at New College Pontefract. Harry was fantastic as a volunteer during the October Open Saturday, involving meeting prospective new students and parents. Harry scored top marks in his first PE assessment; despite having restricted free time due to preparing for this elite competition. This shows that Harry has the discipline and drive to balance his training regime alongside his lessons and homework. An amazing achievement for Harry. Thanks also to Pontefract Squash club for allowing Harry and his specialist coach to do some 1:1 fitness sessions in the lead up to these world championships.”