ILLUSTRATION BY BRITTANY ENGLAND/THE PIONEER
California State University, East Bay junior student Jared Reed is the Pioneer of the Week.
Jared Reed competed in the 2015 Collegiate National Taekwondo Championships at the University of Delaware in Newark earlier this month and earned himself a prestigious right.
After defeating six opponents, Reed claimed first place in his division and advanced to the 2015 Summer Universiade, also known as the World University Games, in Gwangju, Korea beginning on July 3 and lasting through the month.
The 22-year-old business administration major maintained his spot on the U.S. Collegiate National Team after he defeated opponents from Penn State, Capella University, Broward College, and Eastfield College.
With two seconds left in the final match and the score tied 14-14, Reed scored a 4 point head kick to secure a thrilling 18-14 triumph.
“It felt great to accomplish something like this, it wasn’t easy,” Reed said. “Taekwondo is a great sport that has a lot of great things for college students.”
The junior transfer student from Laney College in Oakland has a month to train for the games, which many consider to be a “stepping stone” to the Summer Olympics.
The International University Sports Federation, or FISU, runs the event that is aimed to mesh university and athletics. According to the FISU, “48 percent of Olympic medalists are also Universiade medalists.”
Reed got started in the Korean martial art in 2000 when he was seven, thanks in large part to his uncle who had been training at the U.S. Taekwondo Center in Sacramento for three years.
The sport came at a time when Reed needed something to help him maintain focus after a startling discovery.
“I did a test at the doctor’s when I was four and I was diagnosed with ADHD,” Reed said. “It really turned out to be a good thing for me as an athlete because you have to constantly be alert and ADHD definitely keeps me alert.”
Reed says the discipline and focus it takes to master the ancient art have helped him become more in tune with and able to deal with his disorder.
He credits the focus it takes to train as a major factor in helping control his ADHD.
“When I was first diagnosed I was really young so I didn’t have a lot of understanding about it,” Reed said.
“Sports, especially Taekwondo, keep me in line and allow me to focus. [Taekwondo] was really good for me.”
Now in his third quarter at CSUEB, the Sacramento native wants to co-own and manage a Taekwondo center after he graduates in large part because of how much the sport helped him.