Belfast Telegraph

Meet Jodie the wonder girl: Hockey ace, black belt in judo and medal winning swimmer ...

... who and also finds time to study to be a dentist

BY JOHN FLACK

Most of us would be happy to be talented in just one sport.

But Belfast student Jodie Kee has several under her belt – having lifted multiple titles in swimming, judo, hockey and even water-skiing.

And as if that doesn't keep her busy enough, the 19-year-old is also studying to be a dentist.

Jodie is currently in her first year at Queen's University Belfast and admits that, while she doesn't have a lot of free time, she is still very committed to her many sporting loves.

She recently received a call-up to the extended Ulster Under-21 hockey squad ahead of the inter-provincial title defence in the new year as a reward for some outstanding performances.

But that's only the tip of the iceberg as far as her long list of sporting achievements is concerned and the term multi-talented could well have been invented for the teenager.

Jodie is a multiple Ulster champion swimmer, an Irish junior record holder in three water-skiing disciplines and a black belt in judo.

She was named Belfast Telegraph Swimmer of the Year in 2004 in the 10-and-under category and is the proud holder of over 30 Ulster titles in the pool, having also represented her province in 2006 and been an Irish Schools butterfly champion in 2002 and 2003.

But they're not the only trophies on the mantelpiece.

The Belfast teen won a silver medal at last year's Commonwealth judo championship in Cardiff and has been a member of the Great Britain U20 squad in the same sport in the past.

She could have staked a claim for a place in next year's Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games team in judo but has instead opted to concentrate on hockey.

"If I had decided to try to make the Commonwealth team it would have meant putting all my efforts into that," Jodie said. "I wouldn't have been able to play hockey to any extent and I am also conscious that it's my first year in dentistry and that's important as well – I don't have much spare time as it is"

An ankle injury forced her to retire from swimming a few years ago so, these days, she concentrates mainly on hockey with her U21 call-up a boost having played at representative level in her younger days.

Jodie says she is enjoying life at Queen's having started her career at nearby Belfast Harlequins.

In addition to her playing commitments, Jodie coaches hockey at Methody and Harlequins and she plans to return to judo next year.

And she'll still have time to get her water skis on for the British and Irish Inter-varsities tournaments.

QUOTES

"I wasn't able to play too much hockey last season with Harlequins with the judo being priority but I have more time now I am with Queen's. People frequently ask me which sport do I prefer but, really, they are so different it is a hard one to answer. In judo though it's all about 'me' and there is so much pressure, whereas you have your team mates to talk to in hockey."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph