Saskia floors asthma to take gold

ASTHMA may stop some people in their tracks but certainly not Karate mad schoolgirl Saskia Jordan.Despite being plagued by EXERCISE INDUCED asthma, she fought her way to reach gold at a major England championship.

By Jessica Nicholls

ASTHMA may stop some people in their tracks but certainly not Karate mad schoolgirl Saskia Jordan.

Despite being plagued by EXERCISE INDUCED asthma, she fought her way to reach gold at a major England championship.

And in December she should be on her way to achieving the coveted black belt.


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So the only message that the 14-year-old could possibly have for anyone who has the condition but wants to exercise is "You can do it!"

Depending on the severity of the condition, some doctors may recommend not doing too much if any exercise at all, but Saskia's was happy to let her continue.

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So with inhaler at her side she is hoping to one day fight for her country and even bring home an Olympic gold medal when Karate becomes an Olympic sport.

Even on her big day on Sunday at the English Karate Governing Body National Children's Championship in Crystal Palace she managed to keep the asthma under control and did not yield to it until she had won.

She said "I had an attack just as I left the mat at the end of the final.

"If I do feel it coming on I just sit out for a while in classes.

"There are a couple of asthmatics in the class and they just do the same as me."

She was competing against 25 other people in her weight category, which is under 45kg. In all she had seven fights during the day.

Her success meant she came back to Ipswich with a gold medal, a gold trophy and a £250 sports grant which she is likely to spend on new equipment.

Saskia found out she had asthma around two years ago when she started getting breathless during classes.

Mum Sally, 36 said: "It did not even enter her head to give up the Karate.

"It did worry me at first but she does not panic if she has an attack and she can keep it under control.

"If it bothered her then I would not let her do it."

The Westbourne High School pupil is dedicated to her cause and trains five days a week at the Mick Blackwells Black Belt Academy in Dunlop Road.

It's a real family affair as dad Ray, 44 is an instructor in Karate and Ju-Jitsu and brothers Craig and Lee also know their stuff.

Craig, 21 is a black belt in Ju-Jitsu, while Lee, 18 is a black belt in Karate. Even little sister Danni who is just six years old and is also asthmatic has been brought up on a diet of martial arts.

Sally said: "She started around three months ago and jumped three belts after her first grading.

"She has been doing it at home ever since she could walk."

FACTFILE:

Exercise is a common trigger for asthma – research indicates that about 80 per cent of people with the condition have symptoms triggered by exercise.

Symptoms include – coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty in breathing that is triggered by exercise, usually beginning after exercise and worsen about 15 minutes later.

When people exercise they breath faster, making it more difficult for the nose and upper airways to warm and add moisture to the air breathed in. It is thought that the colder, drier air in the airways triggers the symptoms of exercise induced asthma.

People with asthma should be encouraged to participate in regular exercise as being fit helps the body to cope better with all conditions.

Asthma should not stop you doing any kind of exercise as long as you consult your doctor regularly.

Top sporting names who have asthma include Olympic gold medalist Paula Radcliffe and Manchester United's Paul Scholes.

WEBLINKS: www.asthmaplus.org.uk

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