Grangemouth girl, 8, is three times world champion in taekwondo

At the age of eight, a Grangemouth girl has recently celebrated winning her THIRD taekwondo world title.

By Fiona Dobie
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 4:30 pm
Olivia McCuish became a taekwondo world champion for the third time recently.
Olivia McCuish became a taekwondo world champion for the third time recently.

Olivia McCuish secured a win at the world championships for the martial art last month.

The title is the third she has earned since competing in her first world championship at the age of six.

It’s the latest of many achievements gained by the youngster, who has been involved in taekwondo since she was three.

Olivia McCuish trains with UKTC Taekwondo in Grangemouth.

Her mum Emma, said: “She started with the Tiger Cubs around a week after her third birthday.

"She then moved on to the Active Tigers. She moved up early as she was showing promise and rattled through her gradings.

"She started training with the adults when she was about five and she won her first world title when she was six.

"Since she started she has just absorbed everything and she seems to have an aptitude for it.

Olivia's mum says the eight-year-old "lives and breathes" taekwondo.

"She lives and breathes it.

"Most children her age you would take toys off as a punishment, but for her we wouldn't let her go to training.

"She trains five times a week, but it’s not just in class, she trains at home outside of that too.”

And it’s not just taekwondo that Olivia does in her spare time, she also fits in time for gymnastics, hip hop, musical theatre and has recently taken up jujitsu.

A member of UKTC Taekwondo, Olivia – known to her taekwondo family as Miss O – trains regularly at Grangemouth Sports Complex.

The Moray Primary pupil won her first world championship title as a green belt, before competing for her second as a blue belt.

At the most recent world championships, which were held virtually, she competed as a red tag and since then she’s achieved her red belt.

Emma continued: “She is flying through the grades, but it’s going to be a wee while before she can go for her black tags because of her age.

"She trains with the black belts in class to push herself.

"Her instructor, Miss Maria Risk (fifth Dan), is amazing and has been pivotal in getting the best out of her.

"Taekwondo has been a massive help in terms of fitness, commitment and being able to control herself.

"She’ll tell you it’s not all about punching and kicking, it’s a way of life.”

And both her mum, and dad Martin, say they and the rest of the family are very proud of her.

She's even managed to persuade her mum to get involved in taekwondo and train alongside her.

Emma added: “What she’s managed to achieve, if we sit back and think about it, it’s jaw dropping. She absolutely loves it.

"She’s our inspiration. She’s so dedicated at such a young age.

"Through lockdown she’s managed to compete all over the world in online competitions.

"She’s picked up titles in so many countries – America, Australia, Asia, Malaysia. It doesn’t matter what country you go to it seems her representation of what the martial art is is good enough for them.”

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