tennessee randall portrait with trophies

‘A testament to the result of ongoing hard work, dedication and a true passion for sport.’

Tennessee Randall, a Kickboxing European Champion and World Championship winner is a clear representation of the outstanding talent we have in Wales. This talented young sports star, whose fighting capability is worth its weight in gold, has been highlighted with ongoing successive victories around the world. A Swansea University PhD student and esteemed sports scholar, we’ve caught up with Tennessee to find out what lays on the horizon.

“Sport has always been a massive part of my life”

with 15 years in the sport under her belt, having been introduced to kickboxing at the age of 7 alongside her sister, in their local leisure centre in Llanelli, with hard work and determination, Tennessee didn’t take long to make her mark as she went forward to win the World Championships as a junior fighter. Once fighting at a senior level, Tennessee progressed to being awarded a Bronze medal in the World Championships and a silver in the European Championships. Fast-forwarding to present day, Tennessee is a World Champion kickboxer, following her gold medal in Turkey in 2019. This incredible achievement was described as her "ultimate goal for the last 5 years’’. Tennessee will also be defending her of the European Championship title later this year following a gold medal in Slovenia in 2018. To medal in this will see Tennessee qualify for the World Combat Games in Kazakhstan in 2021.

“It’s taken 3 years of hard work, but it was totally worth it”

“The sports scholarship has been a massive help, to receive money to put towards my frequent travel and events is a huge weight off my shoulders. It really is the little things that make a difference, such as my gym membership, the parking permit and free nutrition workshops. It’s providing access to facilities and support you wouldn’t otherwise get. Further to this, I'm also given the flexibility to extend my university work deadlines due to any competition clashes, which is something incredibly valuable to me as it ensures nothing is compromised.”

The support Tennessee receives through her scholarship is incomparable to the incredible family network surrounding her, namely the training between her and her father. “He’s been my coach from the beginning, he knows what motivates me and he’s a brilliant coach, so we work well together. We run our club together, coaching kickboxing and even our grandparents are involved so it really is very family orientated.”

Motivated by her love for the sport with the foresight to be the best in her field, Tennessee describes her earliest memory in sport as being ridiculously competitive with the desire to win every event at her school’s sports day. “I just loved sport”.
As much as kickboxing is a way of life, training is a remedy for maintaining a balance through wellness. “Sport and exercise have helped massively with my mental health because although I enjoy studying it can be quite stressful having to deal with deadlines and exams. I feel like sport is a sort of escape from studying and being involved in sport my entire life I know how important it is to stay active as well and do something that I enjoy”

Her discipline and unprecedented work ethic are inspirational to any sportswoman who strives to be the best at what they do. The road to success is not easy nor does it come without a degree of sacrifice, with a grandmother star baker, resisting her cooking during competition training has said to be the ultimate test for Tennessee. “No nanny please take them away”. With daily challenges juggling between intense training, nutrition, studies and social life, all brought together in seamless equilibrium.
When asked about her advice for women looking to take up the sport Tennessee explains “For kickboxing, you don’t have to be a fighter, it gives you so many other life skills as well, such as perseverance, discipline and confidence certainly.”

Swansea University is proud to have awarded such a decorated, hardworking and inspirational sports woman one of our select sports scholarship. We wish Tennessee every success and hope that she can stand as an example to student athletes around Wales and the world.