Olympics is the aim for top-scoring Public Services student

July 4, 2022

Jacob Fairhead smiling

A future Olympian is leaving HSDC Alton with his head held high after successfully juggling his studies with full time taekwondo training.

Public Services student Jacob Fairhead has completed his Level 3 Extended Diploma with a triple Distinction Star – an achievement made even more remarkable by the fact that he completed his second year remotely.

Jacob completed his studies from the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester, where he trains full time with the GB Olympic taekwondo squad, with his sights set on the LA 2028 Summer Olympics.

Stu Page, Public Services Lecturer, said:

“Jacob has been the archetypal ‘model’ student from day one in attitude, behaviour, commitment and diligence. He always delivers an excellent quality of work on time every time. 

Jacob and Stu in the gym

Jacob with lecturer Stu Page

“Not only is Jacob a most pleasant and personable individual, but when you consider the discipline it takes to succeed in your sport at this level whilst achieving the best possible grades in your academic studies, he truly defines what a role model to other students actually looks like. We in Public Services at Alton are so proud of Jacob and what he has achieved.”

Former Eggar’s School student Jacob spent his first year physically at HSDC Alton before finding out he had been offered a place with the team.

Jacob, who competed in karate for years before switching to taekwondo, said:

“It was a big surprise getting into the team but I was prepared for it because it’s what I wanted to do. I was definitely going to go but I wanted to complete the Public Services course here so it was important to try and do that.

“I really liked my classmates and made lots of friends in my first year so I wanted to stay in with them. I enjoyed the course, I felt like I was learning and benefiting from it so I wanted to carry on with it.

“Jo Edmonds was my first year tutor and he set everything up for me, he made sure I was able to do the course. My teachers were good, any questions I had I was able to ask and they’d get back to me.”

Jacob with the HSDC Alton signJacob had to fit his college work in around training two or three times a day, and spent Wednesday afternoons and weekends catching up with assignments.

On choosing to study Public Services, Jacob said:

“After I finish taekwondo I want to join the military and I thought I would do Public Services because it’s a big interest of mine and it’s a way of discovering the different routes I could take. I have got all the information now.

“I liked doing the sport side of it and I liked learning about current affairs because it’s the real-life stuff and lots of it was military-based which I liked.”

Farnham local Jacob now trains alongside senior Olympians including double gold medallist Jade Jones, and he is working hard to aim for 2028, when he could become the first GB man to gain a gold medal.

Jacob added:

“I want to be where they are, just watching them I pick up stuff and try to improve. Training every day is hard and you’re not motivated every day, but you’re committed to turning up and giving 100 per cent. 

“That’s the main thing I have taken from them. If you don’t give 100 per cent, you’re going to get hit!”

Everyone at HSDC Alton wishes Jacob the best of luck for the future!

For more information about studying Public Services at HSDC, visit our course finder.