A Wimbledon amateur kickboxer who only entered the gym to get fit is now set to represent Team GB at the world championships.

Katarzyna Kuczynska first stepped foot in a combat gym aged 28 to get into shape.

Ten years later she is now preparing to represent Team GB at the WAKO World Championships in Hungary this November.

“I used to look at Team GB and think wow,” Katarzyna told Wimbledon Guardian.

“The first time I fought I remember being so scared. I wanted to run away. It’s scary but once the fight is over you want to do more. It’s like bungee jumping, it’s a release and you get addicted.”

She described it as being a “dream” to now be in a position to represent her country on the world stage.

Now 38, the fighter believes she only has two years left in martial arts and after mostly competing domestically she hopes to spend as much time kickboxing abroad as possible.

Katarzyna, who has lived in Wimbledon since she was ten and trains out of Phoenix Gym in Croydon, recommends other women to try kickboxing.

She said: “Martial arts is about building your character. I got so much confidence from it and it made me stronger. I know who I am and what I want.

“It’s a great sport. I would encourage women to do it for fitness. You don’t have to compete. It’s never too late to chase your dream.”

Ahead of the world championships Katarzyna has been combining working a full time job in weight management with training for the competition.

She said: “It’s going to be hard and I just hope all the work was worth it. I’m not doing this for anyone else but myself. You want to challenge yourself.

“Fighting at world championships is such a great atmosphere because you’re meeting great people and learning so much. Not everyone can say they have been to the world championships.”

Katarzyna is trying to secure sponsorship ahead of the competition and also for the next season which begins in January.

The accomplished fighter has a list of achievements including being the CIMAC Super League Grand champion for three years running and also claiming the British Open Championship in 2016.

However, before bowing out of the sport, she is aiming to obtain accolades internationally.

“I don’t want to be average,” she concluded. “We all like to be good at something.”