A SPORTY student celebrated the end of college life by winning world championship gold.
Coleg Cambria learner Matthew Cook, from Wrexham, was victorious at the Taekwondo International World Championships, held at Birmingham Arena.
Matthew – named Elite Individual Athlete of the Year at Cambria’s inaugural Sports Awards in June – has picked up dozens of titles over the last two years and is a reigning World, British and Welsh light-heavyweight champion, despite only taking up the sport in 2014.
He now plans to become an instructor himself after flourishing under the tutelage of Wrexham taekwondo star Ady Jones, a 7th degree black belt master.
“To have achieved all of this in just five years feels amazing, though I have trained and worked hard to get here,” said Matthew, a former pupil at Rhosnesni High School.
“I took to martial arts quite quickly and have really enjoyed it, which is why I began to enter competitions and eventually start winning them. I always loved sport, but this is the only one I really stuck at and committed to.
“I’ve been lucky to have an amazing teacher in Ady, and plan to follow him into instructing, that’s my goal.”
The 18 year-old has completed his Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport, and now looks forward to a bright future in martial arts.
“Taekwondo came naturally to me and it’s something I greatly enjoy,” said Matthew.
“To receive a Sports Award from Cambria on the back of the titles I’ve won in the last couple of years is a nice way to say goodbye, and I thank them for all of the support they’ve given me.”
Sally Jones, Deputy Director of Sport and Uniformed Public Services at Cambria, added: “Matthew is the epitome of elite sport and I’m sure he will go on to do even greater things in the world of martial arts.
“He is supremely talented but also a leader and hard worker, so I’m sure he will make a fine instructor. Everyone at Cambria wishes him the very best of luck for the future.”
For more on sports and leisure at Coleg Cambria, visit the website: www.cambria.ac.uk