By Hannah Blackwell
Keira Forsythe can’t wait to get started as the newest member of the GB para taekwondo squad.
But Forsythe is no stranger to her training partners or surroundings at the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester and has already made her debut for the team at last month’s European Championships.
However, the 24-year-old amputee is looking to maximise her opportunities as a full-time athlete.
Keira, from Wrexham, said: “Three years ago, just after I had had my amputation, an Olympian I knew put me in touch with Andrew Deer, the coach of the GB para squad.
“He then sent me through the talent portal on the GB Taekwondo website. So, it’s virtually three years to the day, I am here as a full-time athlete which is so exciting.
“I have had access to amazing facilities and top-class coaching during that time to get me to where I am now.
“Now, I am ready for high-level competitions like the Europeans which, result wise didn’t go how I wanted, but it was another great learning experience.
“I am just so excited to get stuck in and make my mark.”
Keira has been a long-time taekwondo player. She took up the sport as a youngster but a freak accident in 2012 left her with a broken wrist and ultimately to the amputation of part of her left arm seven years later.
— Miss Hardman 3H (@3H_stjohns) April 29, 2021
Now, she’s determined to make up for lost time and qualify for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.
She joins a squad which is enjoying successes at the highest level. Teammates Beth Munro and Amy Truesdale won medals at Tokyo 2020, Truesdale and Joe Lane gained podium places at last year’s Para Worlds while all three medalled at the 2022 Para Euros.