A TALENTED young sportswoman is celebrating an amazing year of success in 2018 and looking forward to making 2019 another incredible one.

Simone Abley has been training and competing in taekwondo since she was just four-years-old, and next month is back in competition.

The 18-year-old will represent her college, East Durham College, at the Student National Championships.

If successful, Simone, from Spennymoor, will then go on to qualify for the European University Sports Association (EUSA) championships.

Simone is in great shape for the championships next year, having won the British National Championships in Taekwondo for the fifth time recently.

Throughout her career, she has won the championship at pee-wee cadet, junior and senior levels.

Having represented Great Britain since the age of 13, Simone has also won several other awards including 2014 Commonwealth champion and 2016 GB Junior of the Year.

In October 2018 she won the bronze medal at the Under 21 European championships.

At East Durham College, Simone is part of the Level 3 BTEC Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at the college's Peterlee campus.

Set up by the Dragon’s Den television star himself, the Academy specialises in preparing young people for a career as an entrepreneur, with a focus on setting up their own business.

The teenager has teamed her passion for taekwondo with her increasing business acumen to create Salamander Taekwondo, where she teaches, alongside her brother, the next generation of taekwondo students at classes in Tow Law, Consett, Middlestone Moor and at Newcastle University.

As part of her coaching work, Simone has also been awarded the title of Young Coach of the Year, and regularly visits schools across County Durham to get children involved in the sport.