THE reigning world kickboxing champion from Rushden is appealing for help to enable her to travel to Canada to defend her title.
Jo Redman, 25, won the World Kickboxing Council World Championships in Spain last year, in the women’s light contact. She is desperate to compete in Montreal this year, but as she is an amateur competitor who receives no funding, she is struggling to meet the required costs.
Jo, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, started kickboxing when she was 13.
She said: “In 2011 I fulfilled my dream by becoming a world champion after many years of hard work and dedication. In February I secured qualification for this year’s World Championships by winning the National Championships. To keep at the top level in my sport by attending World Championships and other international competitions each year can be incredibly costly, and as a sufferer of Asperger’s Syndrome my cost is doubled as I require a supporter to travel out with me.
“This year the World Championships are being held in Montreal, Canada at a cost of £1,085 plus insurance and category fees for each competitor.
“I would love to be able to attend the World Championships and carry out defence of my world title, but with the greater expense this year and taking into consideration my need for a supporter due to my disability it is unlikely I will be able to attend without any form of sponsorship.”
Jo has so far managed to raise about £400, which should be enough to pay her deposit.
Another reason for her determination to keep on top of her sport is so that she can be a role model for younger people with Asperger’s.
She added: “When I was younger with the social difficulties I had I would never have imagined that I would be doing the things I am doing now, I actually never thought I’d be able to get through my driving test or do something like get married, but now I am a World Champion in the sport I love and I teach it and give talks in the community about it too. Considering I couldn’t speak sometimes at school I feel like it is an amazing achievement to be able to do those things now.”
Jo trains and teaches under the guidance of Alex Barrowman. She also trains with the British Chinese Kickboxing Association, which is affiliated to and part of the World Kickboxing Council.
Any individuals or businesses who can help Jo by sponsoring her trip should contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.