Kicking butt and giving back
By Sucheta Singh, Marketing and Communications
At age four, most of us were learning how to peddle a tricycle and brush our teeth. Ashlyn Arnold, on the other hand, was learning how to kick major butt.
A love of taekwondo runs in the family of the Douglas College Sport Science student. Ashlyn’s older brother teaches the martial art, her younger brother competes, and her mom is a black belt. Needless to say, when disagreements arise, they’re often settled by a friendly sparring match.
Ashlyn entered her first competition when she was seven, and was hooked.
“I was nervous, but it was fun. It made me want to compete more,” says Ashlyn, 18.
Since then, she’s travelled to Korea four times for training and has competed in Taiwan, Mexico, the United States, Europe and Canada, including in the 2016 Canada Open in Montreal, where she captured gold – much to her surprise.
“I didn’t have great expectations, but I ended up point gapping all my fights, which means I beat my opponent early by 12 points, and I won first place.”
Now, as a first-year college student, Ashlyn is trying to balance a busy training and competition schedule with her Sport Science coursework. She says she chose Douglas because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do.
“Here, I can take different courses and see which path I want to take,” she says.
She’s already got an inkling: Having endured her share of bumps and bruises – part and parcel of her sport – she’s considering a sport-related career helping other athletes deal with their injuries and get back into their game.
Meantime, Ashlyn’s heading to Ottawa for the nationals in February. From there, her sights are set on competing in the World Taekwondo Grand Prix.
“Only the top athletes in the world are invited to compete. It’s the stepping stone to the Olympics.”
Learn more about the Sport Sciences program at Douglas.