TEENAGE taekwondo star Ellie Bowden won her seventh national title in 2019, but is keen to showcase her talent on the biggest stage of all in the coming years.

Bowden, from Cullingworth, has had her hard work and achievements recognised, as she is one of three nominees for Sportswoman of the Year at the 2020 Bradford Sports Awards.

She is a busy woman, attending Horizon Academy in Keighley, while also studying at and competing for Leeds Beckett University.

All of this could serve her well for 2020 and beyond, as she targets the sport’s ultimate goal, competing at the Olympics.

Asked about her future plans, the 19-year-old said: “Hopefully, I’ll be going for my eighth national title (so far she has six British National Championships and one Student National Championships) and I’m hoping to to be picked for the Student European Championships for uni as well in 2020.

“But I would like to go into the Senior Academy soon too.

“You get to be full-time and you get Olympic training in Manchester. It gives you a full-time future and the chance to compete for Great Britain at the Olympics.”

This year’s games in Tokyo will come too soon for Bowden, but Nottingham Open victory and Dutch Open second place in 2018 were followed by that Student Nationals title in London last year, so she is surely well on her way to that end goal.

It was a surprise the teenager had time to talk to us. Her typical day would tire most people out just reading it, given that she has to fit all her university classes and academic work in too.

She said: “If I’ve not got lectures at 9am, then I’ll go to the gym early in Keighley and do some cardio to wake me up.

“Then at Leeds Beckett, we have strength and conditioning classes there for the uni team. If it’s a taekwondo night at Horizon, I’ll go there after uni too.”

It turns out taekwondo and university are a good mix, with Bowden explaining: “It’s good to be able to have a women’s team there to compete for and to be giving back to the uni, not just for (academic) work.

“I’ve made friends because of it at the uni, but also across the UK, as we all compete as a group.”

The sport is in Bowden’s blood and she is grateful for the opportunities she’s had in this district.

She said: “It’s really, really good to have an academy like Horizon in Keighley.

“But when I was younger, I used to go to a club in Cullingworth, at the village hall. It’s great because there’s not much else to do.”

From a village hall to the Olympics, it could be quite the journey for Bowden. You might want to watch this space.