Meet UoN's female taekwondo star

Sharon Wakoli(right) poses for a photo with her opponent in an international event.

We caught up with Sharon Wakoli, a 6th year MBCHB student at the School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences. She has continued to make big strides in taekwondo, a game that is mostly associated with men, but for her the sky is the limit for her taekwondo journey. 

What interested me in taekwondo:

My journey in sports began back in 2011 when I was 16 years old. I had just finished high school and had to wait for one and a half years before joining the university. My dad suggested I find something to keep me busy and suggested taekwondo as his other colleague was currently practicing the sport at the time, the next day he took me to the then Kenya Olympic in Hurlingham under coach George Mureu and as they say the rest is history

Competitions I have participated in:

I have been fortunate to participate in many local competitions in and out of Nairobi for the past 7 years including Kenya Open, Nakuru Open, Korean Ambassadors Cup, Kukkiwon Cup, Kisumu Open, and Professors Cup in Kibabii. Most memorable tournaments for me were the East Africa University Games in 2016 held at JKUAT and the same EAUG in Dodoma in 2018 where I won gold in both competitions.

This year I was fortunate to be picked among the team to represent Kenya in a 47 Day International Training and Competition Camp June - August in Korea namely, Chuncheon Korea Open where I won bronze medal, Jeonju Open, I won gold and Kyungdong Presidents Cup where I also won a gold medal. I won gold at the Rwanda Korean Ambassadors Cup held in Kigali in September. I remain extremely grateful to my sponsors and coaches who continually support me and to the university administration.


I train at least 5 times a week Monday to Friday from 6-8pm and Saturday morning at my gym, Waithaka Taekwondo Club. I try to fit in 2-3 morning runs a week. Once or twice a month we get together as the university students who do taekwondo to share ideas and train together and encourage the upcoming ones who want to join the club.

Future plans:

Every athlete’s dream is to represent their country at the Olympic stage. I would be lying if I said I dodn’t but most of all I would love if I got into many international competitions and eventually into the Grand Prix Taekwondo Series. Maybe in the future I would love to see my club progress to get more equipment and for the kids to be encouraged to keep training, stay out of the streets and for their parents to know that there is a future in sports. It’s also my dream to have an all girls junior and senior club for the less privileged in the society and to see them go further than I ever did. I also would love to finish my degree become a doctor and possibly start a sports scholarship fund for students interested in health science courses.

My motivation:

My family mostly. My dad, he always encourages us to take up opportunities outside of academics. when I started I didn't know if sports would allow me to meet the people I’ve met or open the doors I currently have. It has opened my eyes and given me a chance to view the world from a different angle. My late mum who was the most hardworking person in the world, her humility and constant dedication is the reason I have so much willpower. My coach, he always constantly pushes me beyond my limits and expectations. There's no rest day with him! And lastly my desire to leave a great legacy with what God gave me and to be able to change at least the life of one person.

Balancing between books and the game:

This is a tricky one. I admit am not perfect but I have a very strict schedule and an almost zero social life! Training time is strictly in the evening and during the day I mostly focus on school. When it’s off season, less tournaments, I shift a lot of my attention to my books and just maintain my fitness with morning runs and less intense sessions. The key to balance for me has been discipline and consistency, knowing what needs priority and at what time.