College student aims for next championship medal

HND coaching student at City of Glasgow College, Adam Smillie, is competing at this year's JSKA UK Karate Open Championship.

The 19-year-old won gold and bronze at the Japan Shotokan Karate Association (JSKA) World Championships in St. Petersburg last September. He took the bronze medal for kata (a set piece) and gold for Kumite (fighting) which makes him the current JSKA World Kumite Champion.

Adam has been competing internationally for six years but started practicing Karate when he was only five. He got his 1st Dan at the age of 12, progressing to 3rd Dan by the time he was 17.

“My parents encouraged me to attend Karate classes to help me focus as I had trouble concentrating when I was younger,” explained Adam.

Following the upcoming UK Open, Adam’s next major competition is the European Championship in Cyprus in November. He trains every day alongside his college studies, working on tactics and specific combinations and using visualisation techniques.

The 19 year old, who grew up in Robroyston and attended Lenzie Academy, said the college has been a fantastic support in terms of his course work, which in turn has enabled him to concentrate on his Karate.

Angus Macbain, Lecturer in Sports Coaching at City of Glasgow College, said:

"Adam's successes thus far come as no surprise to all those who teach him. He is extremely committed to both his sport and his studies and can be considered a credit to himself, his sport and the sports coaching department. We wish him all the very best for his forthcoming endeavors and will continue to support him in any way we can."

Adam has been coaching Karate for six years, saying: “I love seeing my students succeed and it was that element that made me want to become a qualified sports coach.”

City of Glasgow College was Adam’s first choice of place to study ahead of continuing onto Stirling University.

“The college is great with excellent sporting facilities. All the lectures are really nice and will do anything to help you progress through your academic year.

I enjoy badminton, American football, judo and other martial arts but Karate it is a great stress reliever which helps me concentrate on my college work,” added Adam.

Adam’s main goal is start up his own Karate club so he is working to achieve international Karate qualifications. He is currently a C-level National Referee and Instructor, and also dreams of becoming a qualified PE teacher.

The JSKA UK Karate Open Championship takes place in Woking on Saturday 30 March.