Durham taekwondo star on training mind and body during lockdown

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LOCKDOWN is proving to be as tough mentally as it is physically for one of the UK’s top young taekwondo stars.

Cameron Park, from Durham, has trained every day for a decade, honing his fighting skills in preparation for national and worldwide competition.

The 22-year-old has been placed in the top ten at two European Championships and was focussing on April’s World championships, in Denmark, which was cancelled.

Cameron, who is currently studying sport and exercise sciences at the University of Sunderland, said: “I cannot afford to sit around each day, otherwise my performance as an athlete will massively decrease, but I work within government guidelines in terms of training.

“I’m out running each day for the permitted time and then doing online sessions with Chris Curtis who is my strength and conditioning coach.

“Mentally, it took a toll on me as I do not know when the next time I will compete is. So therefore I’m doing everything I can to maintain my ability as an elite athlete and be prepared for when I do return to competition/full training.”

With the University’s CitySpace building closed and GB team training cancelled, he is training in his back garden on his punch bag like he did when he was young and his mum helps him stick to a balanced diet, which was difficult when people were panic-buying at the start of the restrictions.

He said: “As an elite athlete, I feel like my mental strength and thought processing is greatly helping me each day to focus on the future and hopefully we are getting one step closer to this pandemic finishing. Without the background I have, I feel current-life would be much harder to cope with.

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