Falkirk Taekwondo duo are aiming to be Euro stars

Erin Shaw and Neve Hogg from Falkirks Central Taekwondo Academy will represent Great Britain at the Cadet European Championships in Hungary in October.
Erin Shaw and Neve Hogg from Falkirks Central Taekwondo Academy will represent Great Britain at the Cadet European Championships in Hungary in October.

Erin Shaw and Neve Hogg from Falkirk’s Central Taekwondo Academy will represent Great Britain at the Cadet European Championships in Hungary in October.

The talented girls won their places after competing against 100 athletes from around the UK at the British Taekwondo Selection Championships in Doncaster last week.

Erin (14), from Larbert, is the Falkirk Active Schools Junior Sports Person of the Year and the current British champion. She produced three very professional performances to take gold in the -41kg category.

Meanwhile Neve (12), also from Larbert, took gold in the -33kg division. She is a current cadet European bronze medallist and will be determined to better that when she travels with the 20-strong British team to Budapest.

Central’s Grand Master, David Bailey, said: “I am very proud of Neve and Erin for being selected. They are dedicated and committed athletes and it shows the high standard we have here at Central Taekwondo.

“They are both among the more experienced players. A few of the team will be going to this kind of event for the first time but they compete regularly abroad.

“Erin got a bronze medal at the Dutch Open which is one of the biggest tournaments in Europe. In that competition she was up against the best of the best and it’s kind of the same standard of girl who will be there in Hungary.

“If she uses that as a benchmark she’s got a great chance of getting to the medals at the Europeans.

“Neve fought at the Europeans last year in Romania and was Great Britain’s only medalist. She got a bronze so is obviously looking to go one better.”

The two girls are following in the footsteps of clubmate Jordyn Smith who was European cadet champion in 2014 and has now stepped up to junior level. She is currently preparing for the Junior Europeans in Cyprus in November.

And former club member Hassan Haider, now a fully-funded athlete based in Manchester, has just returned from taking part in the senior world championships in Korea.

Central coaches Darren Smith and Grand Master Bailey have applied to be part of the GB national coaching team for the Hungarian event.