And dedication to taekwondo has paid off for the obstetrics and gynaecology specialist with a wild card selection to the World Taekwondo Federation Grand Prix in Manchester this weekend. (October 16-18)
Glaswegian Summerhill, 28, is part of a 15-strong GB squad competing at the Regional Arena but the only senior, non full-time athlete called up for the penultimate Grand Prix of 2015.
“I am so excited because this is a brilliant opportunity for me,” confirmed the former Edinburgh University medical student.
“I would love to have an opportunity to be a full-time athlete for a few years. But I need money to live. So, if I am working, I am not training.
“Doing both takes a lot of time and it means I can’t be what I want to be in both. It just takes organisation, determination and focus plus I do taekwondo because I love it.
“This year I have been fortunate because Work have given me a chance to train more in taekwondo. My last Obs and Gynae posting was at Glasgow Royal but more recently I have been doing a lot of A & E shifts at Wishaw General.”
Despite her medical career, Summerhill, who will compete in the -67kg division on Friday, is no stranger to taekwondo. She won the National Championship in Manchester last month, competes for Hillhead Taekwondo in Glasgow and has fought at a World University Games and European Championship.
“I was at the (2010) Euros before my medical finals and that was the time I should have taken time off and just done taekwondo,” she agreed. “But you have to work for at least a year to keep your registration. So, the timing was a bit difficult.”
Summerhill will have plenty of support in Manchester but not from mum, Donna, and dad, John. “They’ll probably be watching at home. They support me and are 100 percent behind me but my poor mum is terrified,” laughed Summerhill.
“She doesn’t like seeing someone kicking her daughter in the face.” Despite a step-up in class, GB’s new face is confident she will acquit herself well on the world stage.
“I have done three or four lesser competitions to practice what I have been working on in training,” she explained. “And I want to bring that to the Grand Prix.
“I have fought a number of these girls before and beaten some of them and had really close matches. You have got to believe in your own ability.”
Summerhill is now one of five GB female stars in action at the Grand Prix, including Olympic and World champions, Jade Jones and Bianca Walkden.
Charlie Maddock, Britain’s first ever female European Games gold medallist, has withdrawn from Sunday’s -49kg event. A GB Taekwondo spokesman explained: “Charlie has had a busy year and unfortunately it’s caught up with her over recent weeks.
“She’s had one or two minor injuries that haven’t cleared up as quickly as the medical staff would have liked.
“So, while Charlie is disappointed at missing this chance to fight in front of a home crowd, we need to ensure she’s back to full fitness ahead of a busy 2016.”
GB squad for WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix, Regional Arena, Manchester, October 16-18:
-58kg: Josh Calland (Liverpool), Max Cater (Southampton); fight day October 17
-68kg: Jordan Gayle (Manchester), Michael Harvey (Manchester), Martin Stamper (Liverpool); fight day October 16
-80kg: Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow), Damon Sansum (Elgin), Tom Smith (Poplar); fight day October 18
+80kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell), Lyle Walker (Law); fight day October 16
-49kg:Abigail Stones (Liverpool); fight day October 18
-57kg: Rachelle Booth (Wigan), Jade Jones (Flint); fight day October 18
-67kg: Carla Summerhill (Glasgow); fight day October 16
+67kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool); fight day October 17
For further information contact Trevor Baxter (Red and White Media) +44 7768 846839 email@example.com
More information about tickets and the full Grand Prix schedule is available on the event website www.taekwondogp.com