Women in Sport spotlight; Nikki Sibeon

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My name is Nikki Sibeon and I am registered blind due to a rare genetic condition called Bests Macular Degeneration which is essentially the Juvenile form of Age Related Macular Degeneration. I was diagnosed with this condition in 2013.

Exactly one year after being diagnosed with the condition I decided I did not want to conform to what society believes “blind people” should and shouldn’t do and started taking taekwondo classes, I did not believe I would be any good at this sport or any but I kept going and I am now a blackbelt in taekwondo. I compete in taekwondo, sparring able bodied people despite not being able to see anything when I am in the ring as I have to take my glasses off.

In the future I want to set my own business up to help people with disabilities get back into the community by giving them the confidence to fight back, if it wasn’t for my instructor I don’t know whether I would have even started the process of becoming a fitness instructor never mind wanting to set up my own business. The business name that I have chosen to call myself is I’mpossible fitness as I believe that the word impossible is a misprint as I don’t think that anything is impossible to do with the right mindset.

I have gone through a weight loss transformation myself and hope to also help people in the community with this if that is their overall goal, I believe no one should be left out of doing activities they want to do and I endeavour to help any member of the community achieve any goals that they have whether they have a disability or not.

Questions

if you could go back to a time when you did not know about your sight condition would you?

wouldn’t it be easier to work for someone else rather than be self employed?

have you always been interested in sport/fitness?

what advice would you give to anyone who is wanting to get into fitness or a sport but is afraid due to their disability and not wanting to be told they can’t?

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