After a frustrating lockdown period, UK Fight Site took a trip to Rouchey’s Gyn in New Eltham to catch up with pro-K1 fighter and European title holder Sarah Worsfold. We spoke about her roots, motivation, and what the future holds for the Essex native.
Initially wanting to box, Sarah’s combat sports journey should have started at age 12. However, due to a very different climate where girls were not given the same opportunity as boys, Sarah had to wait nearly 10 years before she could train and compete. At age 21 she found Kickboxing and the rest – as they say – is history.
Fast forward to the present day, Kickboxing remains a constant and essential part of her life. Not only has she travelled the world competing, but she has won a huge amount of titles along the way. As an amateur Sarah won the ICO and IKF Southern Area titles plus the IKF 5 Nations and European title. Whilst as a pro Sarah is the MTGP and IKF European Champion. Despite all the gold and success, motivation seems as high as ever to keep going. When asked what fight she wants next, without hesitation Sarah replied…”Niamh”.
18 months ago Sarah took on Niamh Kinehan for the vacant KGP World Championship and narrowly lost. Reflecting on that match, the warning signs for a poor performance was there in the changing room. Despite a solid camp and weight cut Sarah didn’t feel ‘right’ from the warm-up all the way through to the ending bell. Sarah is very philosophical about the situation choosing not to look for specific answers – despite all the preparations you cannot control everything. The other side of the coin can be found in Sarah’s next fight against Erica Björnestrand where despite a self-proclaimed poor performance, she got the win. The fight game gives, and it takes.
It’s common for fighters to juggle a huge amount of training and normal life. However, Sarah takes this to a new level. Training 6 to 7 days a week, working, and raising her 3 children gives an indication of how committed she is to K1.
As well as this – and as all fighters know – if anything will test your commitment it is the weight cut. For Sarah however, this is especially true. The huge calorie deficit and tough training can affect hormones meaning for high-level women fighters it can lead to complications and even affect menstrual cycles. This is an issue that isn’t discussed openly and for a time, Sarah herself thought she was the only one suffering. After confiding in another fighter she realised that for women fighters, it is a negative but necessary obstacle to hurdle.
What’s fascinating about watching Sarah train is how she can seemingly switch off and on with the bell. One moment she is smashing pads with 100% intensity, the next she is sharing jokes with training partners and coaches without a care in the world. It is this mentality that will keep Sarah at the top of the game for many years to come. It is clear that she gives everything to be the best she can be. However, I get the feeling that fighting doesn’t define her – she is able to put things into perspective. An illustration of this is her refreshing thoughts on success. Sarah talks about whilst championships and wins are symbols of success her goal is to continue to improve and simply collect memories. These are the rewards for success in the ring.
I think it is safe to say that however success is defined, whether that’s belts around the waist, total wins, amazing memories, or balancing family and fighting – Sarah is a walking definition of succeeding.
Follow Sarah Worsfold on www.instagram.com/worsfoldsarah