My name is Aoife McClean, and I am currently an ITP member and former JLA member.
`Why did I start training? ` is a question I have often been asked over the years. My usual answer would be that I wanted to gain some confidence because I was always quiet and never stood up for myself when it came to conflict. Although now confidence is one reason, but also because the pressure to fit that I put upon myself to fit in was a persistent thing on my mind. Growing up playing Gaelic football and camogie, I was already the outcast since I was quiet and not particularly good at either sport. Then when I joined karate, I finally found a place where I belonged, and every day I go for classes/training, a smile is on my face and that is always my favourite part of training; no matter what, there is no disappointment, just pure joy.
School life is far from easy, with pressure from peers, revision, and exams. Sometimes it is too much to take every day at school, so what I would do at the end of a tough day is think of something I am good at and do it. It takes all the stress and pressure from life away, and what I do is forms, techniques, and anything from training that I can think of; it calms me.
I see my future heading in leadership, leading myself and a team through our jobs the best I can. Helping others, growing as a person as karate, and training has taught me to do. Help others the best I can from a hospitality front, as it may not be the most important or popular sector of jobs that there is, but it is, but it is something I have for some time been passionate about, so that is what I am going to try to do.