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Double trouble: University father and son prove a force to be reckoned with

Cameron Park and dad John Park

Published on 10 December 2019

Fighting fit Cameron Park has parent power to thank after scooping a British Championship medal in Taekwondo.

The 22 year old University of Sunderland student has been training in the martial art for a decade – thanks to dad John.

John, who also works at the University, encouraged his son to take up the discipline which he himself had been practising since 1984.

Now Cameron, already a member of the University’s Elite Athlete Scheme, has his sights firmly set on the World Championships in Denmark next year after picking up silver in last month’s British National Championships.

Cameron, who is a second year Sport and Exercise Sciences student, said: “I was about 12 years old when my dad introduced me to Taekwondo, and I loved it straight away.

“He’s been doing it since he was young but had taken a break when my sister and I were born. When I started practicing, he got back into it too.”

John, 46, who works in health and safety at the University, could not be more proud of his son’s success.

He said: “He’s streets ahead of me, in a different league.

“I trained for about 15 years then took a break to have children so it’s been nice getting back into it with Cameron. I now have my 5th Dan and Cameron has his 3rd.

“The fact he is able to do some of his training at the University’s CitySpace building has played a big role in his success.

“The facilities are right here, where he is studying, so it allows him the time to train properly.”

Chris Curtis, Fitness Suite Supervisor from the University, has been helping Cameron with his strength and fitness training ahead of competitions.

He said: “He’s great to work with, a real natural and we’re progressing when it comes to making him quicker and stronger.”

Not to be left out, Cameron’s sister, Chloe, 19, also took up the martial art for a period of time as well.

Cameron, who is from Durham and a former pupil at The Academy at Shotton Hall, says he is now completely focused on competing at international level.

He said: “I’ve been placed in the top 10 at two European Championships, and now we have the Worlds happening next year.”