Mum and two kids win medals at Taekwondo competition

Ashley Brown, with kids  Jay, aged eight, and Alysha, aged ten. Picture: HEMEDIA
Ashley Brown, with kids Jay, aged eight, and Alysha, aged ten. Picture: HEMEDIA
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A SUPER-tough mum and her two children have achieved a clean sweep of medals at a major Taekwondo competition.

Ashley Brown, 26, picked up a gold, silver and bronze for her performances for team Scotland and “watched through tears” as her kids won further medals at the Open Taekwondo World Championships.

Her daughter Alysha, ten, grabbed a bronze and son Jay, seven, was crowned World Champion after defeating a highly rated Japanese fighter in the final.

The family, from Armadale, travelled to Italy to compete against the best in the world last month.

Ashley, who has been practicing taekwondo since she was seven, started training in January after taking two years out of the sport. And after qualifying for the World Championships, her children were also eligible to compete in the junior events.

But Ashley, who shot to fame in 2009 when she came fourth in Britain’s Next Top Model, said she “cried” while watching her children fight.

She said: “I’ve only trained for seven months in two years and I ended up getting over to the World Championships.

“I was picked for the Scotland women’s team and ended up getting a gold, silver and a bronze, I was shocked. But the best thing about it was that my kids could do it and I got to watch them compete.

“But it’s horrible, watching. I was in tears watching my kids fight but they did amazing.

“You’re never more proud than when you see your kids do well. It was unbelievable. I was more nervous for my kids competing than I was myself.”

The family train at the Dojang, in Armadale, and are helped with their sessions by Ashley’s sister Nicole and father, David Brown, 52, an 8th Degree Black Belt who has recently been made President of Europe for the ITF Federation.

Ashley stopped fighting when she appeared on America’s Next Top Model but returned to claim two silvers and a gold in the European championships in England.

She admits that juggling modelling and sports could be hard at times, but she is now more focused on succeeding on the mats than being in front of the camera.

She said: “I’ve been doing in-between shoots just now. I’ve recently done one with the Royal Highland Games and then some for weddings and bridal stuff, so I was worried in case I got my nose broken.

“I’m like two different people, I love taekwondo, I love hanging about with my dad, but then I love make-up and hair extensions, so whenever I go to these competitions, my hair is done and I won’t go looking a mess, but everyone know that’s just me.”

Ashley had her first taste of modelling success in 2008 when she was crowned Miss West Lothian.

Her next fights will be in ­Ireland in November and Budapest in February.

newsen@edinburghnews.com