Cheyne's Olympic Hopes
Dreams of a Grimsby karate champion to appear at the next Olympics rest on his performance at the sport’s world championships in Madrid next month (November).
Healing School PE teacher Cheyne Phillips (27) will fly to Spain knowing a win should secure him a place in Great Britain’s team for the Tokyo Games. Karate will be new to the Olympics, taking place in Japan in 2020.
Cheyne has battled back from serious injury to make the World Karate Federation World Championships in Madrid where he will contest the less than 75kg division in the kumite (fighting) form of karate.
“It’s all about Tokyo. Realistically, this is my only chance of making the Olympics”, he said.
“Whoever wins in Madrid is expected to get an automatic place for Tokyo. There is only expected to be one competitor for GB in each weight division.”
He fights on Wednesday, 7th November, and, if he wins his bouts, will go through to the finals at the weekend.
“I’ve been trying hard over the past couple of years but I’ve had my injuries, including a ruptured adductor muscle this year,” he said. “That set me back and, understandably, pushed me down the rankings.
“If this appearance in Madrid does not come off then I don’t think I will have another chance to make the Olympics.”
“It will be tough because I’m coming off the back of the injuries. On paper, there are people who should beat me but if I’m fully fit and have the right mindset, I might surprise a few people.”
Cheyne, a former pupil at Healing School, took up karate aged five and became national champion at nine. Since then, he has fought across the world, winning many titles.
Cheyne, who was born in Laceby but grew up in Healing, gained a BTEC diploma in sport at Grimsby Institute after he left Healing.
He studied at Sheffield Hallam University and completed a degree in sport coaching before being appointed a teaching assistant in 2012.
He has been a PE teacher for the past 4 years.
Cheyne said: “I’d like to thank the school for its support. They’ve encouraged me to pursue my dream and it’s much appreciated.”
Healing School’s Principal Mrs Michelle Dewland said Cheyne would go to Madrid with the school’s full backing.
“We will all be rooting for him and hoping he can come back with the world championship title and that seat on the plane to Tokyo,” she said.
“Whatever happens, Cheyne’s an inspiration to pupils here. He’s so dedicated and, despite the injury setbacks, remains focused on reaching the pinnacle of his sport. Staff and pupils wish him well next month.”
Healing School PE teacher Cheyne Phillips – chasing an Olympic dream.