A 10-year-old schoolboy who is a reigning national taekwondo champion has set his sights on his third gold medal in a row. Joshua Sherratt has managed to excel at the sport despite having cystic fibrosis, which can leave him out of breath or wheezy at times.

On the taekwondo mat, he just focuses on his end goal and spins and high-kicks his way to success. The Packmoor Ormiston Academy pupil has already amassed around 60 medals from a range of competitions.

Joshua, who lives in Packmoor, said: “I started doing Taekwondo when I was two. It keeps me fit and it’s fun.

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“I train five times a week after school at Maddogs. I do three hours at a time. I then go home and do my homework.

“I’ve just got to keep going. I’m hoping to get into the GB development squad when I’m 13. Then there are more internal comps.”

His ultimate dream is to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. For now, Joshua is juggling his sporting commitments with his final year at primary school and will be taking his SATs after Easter.

Joshua Sherrat is a national champion at taekwondo
Joshua Sherrat is a national champion at taekwondo

“Taekwondo has helped me at school as well. Science is easy when you study all about the body. I look at sports science anyway. I know about things like oxygen.”

His cystic fibrosis means he needs daily treatment. But Joshua added: “I’ve just got used to it. It’s not stressful. I’m fine when I’m doing taekwondo.”

He won gold at the British National Championships in 2019 and again in 2020. Due to the pandemic, there was no competition last year, but the next one is coming up later this year.

“It felt very good to win. The fights were hard and I had about four of them for each competition.”

The furthest he has travelled to compete is the Netherlands when he won a trophy in the Dutch Masters Open. Luckily, the events are held at weekends or during school holidays, so he hasn’t had to miss any lessons.

Joshua has a lot to live up to as his 13-year-old brother Alex is also a champion in taekwondo. Alex, who studies at Ormiston Horizon Academy, is already in the GB development squad.

Joshua's amazing dedication has also earned him a sporting champion award from Ormiston Academies Trust
Joshua's amazing dedication has also earned him a sporting champion award from Ormiston Academies Trust

“He’s been national champion four times. So I’ll have to try to catch him up,” said Joshua. The pair support each other in the sport, but there is also some friendly rivalry.

Joshua also has a black belt in kick boxing and enjoys cross-country running. To mark his achievements, he has now picked up a sporting champion award through Ormiston Academies Trust.

Packmoor Ormiston Academy teaching assistant Christine Sherpherd also scooped an eco award from the trust for her work running numerous environmental projects for pupils.

Principal Sharon May said: Joshua and Christine are both exemplary members of the Packmoor community, inspiring both pupils and staff alike with their perseverance and determination.”

Support worker Janine Lees has also seen the impact Joshua’s success has had on his classmates. She said: “We are so proud of him. He never moans about his cystic fibrosis. He just gets on with all the challenges.”

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