College Helping Student Realise Olympic Dream

TyneMet College is providing sporting expertise to help one of its new students reach her goal of Olympic glory.

16 year old Hannah Lewis is already a junior judo champion both nationally and internationally. Last weekend, she became under-78kg champion at the National Judo Championships in Sheffield. Hannah now hopes this will lead to a place in the under 19 squad which will see her compete in major international competitions

Hannah, from Royal Quays, North Shields has enrolled on a Sports course at TyneMet and will spend lots of time receiving one-to-one personal fitness and nutritional coaching from the college's expert team. Without this, she says there's no way she could have the Olympics in her sights and there's no-where else in the region to offer this level of support.

She said: "I train and learn at the same time. Through the College's North East Sports Academy I get free, expert coaching which is already improving my performance."

Hannah's been coached in the sport since she was 12 years old by Duncan Stewart. He said: "She was very shy when she first came to a session. Since then she's won so much and the help she'll get at TyneMet could make all the difference."

Hannah has a busy training regime. As well as judo, the College provides sessions in Thai boxing, Mixed Martial Arts and lots of gym workouts…all alongside her academic studies which could eventually lead to a career in coaching.

Chris Bunten is Hannah's Strength and Conditioning Coach. He said: She always works hard in the gym and is very determined and highly motivated. If Hannah keeps improving I've no doubt in my mind she'll achieve greatness on the international stage."

So will she make London 2012? Hannah said: "It's a possibility but it may be too early as I've just embarked on full-time training, but we'll see. There's always Rio in 2016!"