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Jessica Lear

Jessica Lear.

The 14-year-old Taekwondo competitor is a member of Noble Dragon Martial Arts club in Swadlincote. She won bronze in patterns and in continuous sparring at the UITF British Championships, and also won bronze in continuous sparring at the UITF World Championships.

Jessica says: "I am a first degree black belt in UITF Taekwondo and I train with the elite squad of the Heart of England UITF based at Alfreton. My club, Noble Dragons, is based at Swadlincote.

"I have trained for six years now and have been competing on a regular basis for the last 18 months. In January 2015 I was selected to be in the 12 and under cadet girls team for the 2015 World Championships which was held in London.

"The championships held challenges for our team because we were only allowed to compete in the next age range upwards.

"At this competition I won a bronze medal in individual sparring which I was pleased with as the girl I had to fight was so much bigger and heavier than me.

"Since applying for the ICON award I have competed in three competitions winning gold in sparring in all three, gold in patterns at one, bronze in patterns at another and silver in team patterns at the third.

"It is my intention to compete in as many competitions in the next 12 months and I will be working towards gaining my second degree black belt in October 2016 and then hopefully training hard for the next World Championships in 2017 in Argentina."