By Jack Wynne – Sports Editor
This weekend, UCLan taekwondo’s Adam Mattis returns to the Annual Student National Championships at the University of Worcester in the West Midlands.
Mattis, 19, goes into the event as the defending champion after claiming the -80kg title at last year’s event but admits he is not going to be complacent.
“Even though I won gold last year, I won’t be overconfident going into the tournament because the standard of competition is improving all the time.”
The club has a new team this year and Mattis is happy with how things have progressed over the past 12 months.
“The interest in the club has risen sharply since last year with twice as many members signing up this time round.”
Adam was the sole representative from UCLan at last year’s event but this weekend, Hamzah Awan, who is a blue belt, will also be making the journey.
The fact that there are multiple competitors representing the club is a really good indication of the progress which has been made, according to Mattis.
“The recent growth of the club has been significant,” he said. “We may well have 2 or 3 players competing next year which would be excellent.”
Mattis, who studies Games Design, is looking for new recruits all the time and admitted there are numerous benefits of taekwondo.
“The sport allows you to develop a really good sense of safety,” he told Pluto. “If you want to have fun and keep active then taekwondo is perfect.”
This year’s championships mark 30 years since the competition was first established.
A record 389 players from 42 clubs took part in last year’s event with even more expected this time round.