Truesdale: IWAS Games celebrate and promote women in sport
Great Britain's Amy Truesdale has spoken of the transformational power of the IWAS World Games programme ahead of competing at the first Games dedicated to women.
One of Great Britain’s brightest medal hopes for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Amy Truesdale, has spoken of the transformational power of the IWAS World Games programme.
Reigning K44 +58kg world champion Truesdale is currently working hard towards 2020 when Para taekwondo will make its Paralympic debut. Part of her preparations are the very first IWAS Women’s World Games in Worcester, Great Britain, from 29-31 August.
“In recent years there has been an increase in female participation in sport and I feel the IWAS Games celebrates and promotes women competing in a sport,” Truesdale said. “I think it’s beneficial to spectators as it will encourage more women into sport.”
Truesdale was herself encouraged to take-up taekwondo at the age of eight by her parents. They felt it was a good way of building her confidence, fitness and to make sure she could defend herself.
She went on to fight able-bodied competitors before entering Para taekwondo in 2009. Truesdale does not believe her impairment had any impact on her fighting style.
“Just because someone has a hand or arm deficiency it does not effect their tactical awareness or legs (as taekwondo is a kicking sport),” she said.
IWAS will hold the historic first edition of the Women’s World Games to provide a dedicated platform for female Para athletes.
As well as taekwondo, athletics, table tennis, badminton and wheelchair fencing are on the programme. The USA, Brazil, Romania, Czech Republic, Niger and the French and British Para taekwondo teams have all so far signed-up.
An aim of the Games is to promote female role models. This is something that Truesdale believes is important:
“I think it is good for someone who has a disability to have a Paralympic role model to look up to as it shows them regardless of a disability you can achieve great things.”
In addition Truesdale believes that the standard in Para taekwondo has improved since the sport was added to the Paralympic programme. Spectators in Worcester can therefore expect a great competition.
When looking back on her own successful career so far Truesdale had the following piece of advice for anyone thinking of trying her sport:
“I would say definitely try it as it will improve your confidence, fitness and you will get the opportunity to meet a lot of new people.”
And what if she had the chance to speak to her eight-year-old self at the start of it all?
“Enjoy every moment and accept every opportunity. And keep kicking!”
The Women’s World Games are the first dedicated IWAS multi-sport event for women. Taking place in Worcester, it is chance for athletes to experience international competition and compete against others in their field. In addition countries can use it to develop their own programmes as the number of female medal events at the Paralympic Games grows.