Champion Taekwondo Scot Kicks Cancer

An Edinburgh man has tackled cancer, and a few opponents along the way, to become a European Taekwondo champion.

Martial arts enthusiast Peter Pryde, (42), was diagnosed with testicular cancer two years ago.

Despite having endured an orchiectomy and radiotherapy, Peter has gone on to win six gold, four silver and one bronze national Taekwondo medals.

The facility services maintenance craftsmen at Edinburgh Napier University previously competed in local competitions but, on being diagnosed in 2008, discovered a new drive to succeed in the discipline and take his passion to a national level.

Peter said: “I was diagnosed with cancer a few days before Christmas in 2008 and it was a real shock to the system. You only ever tend to read about these things and never think this is going to happen to you.

“Although I was in complete shock of being diagnosed, and then having to think about the orchiectomy and the radiotherapy, the main thing going through my mind was what a set back it was going to be for me in my taekwondo. It was my passion for the last eight years and the thought of it being taken away from me all of a sudden was a scary one.

“After my treatment, I began to do light stretching with the help of my instructor, Frank Lindsay VI Dan. I wanted to be back to my best right away and often got ahead of myself but Frank was really good in reining me back, so that I got back to full fitness properly.

“I think that it’s important for everyone to have a hobby they enjoy, but for me, my taekwondo really was my life saver during the early stages of my cancer diagnosis.”

Peter’s most recent win came at the European Championships in Barletta Italy, on his 42nd birthday this year, when he took home the top title and where his team also won the title for 'Best Veteran Team in Europe'.

Having recently passed his 3rd Dan, Peter is now working on new moves to allow him to compete in more competitions over the coming months. He continues to train at the Edinburgh Phoenix Taekwondo Club and teach at both Mary Erskine's High and Craigmount High School with Frank Lindsay.

Contact: Patrick McFall
Phone: 0131 455 6314
Email: p.mcfall@napier.ac.uk
Website: http://www.napier.ac.uk