“Even though Taekwondo is an individual sport, I always believed in the team spirit. I believe that success comes bigger with a team”
– Raya Hatahet
Raya Hatahet, a 2012 Taekwondo Olympian and Certified Fitness Instructor started practicing Taekwondo at the age of 13 years old. She was first introduced to the sport years earlier while on summer camp, where Taekwondo was one of the camp activities.
When her brother was in kindergarten, she fell in love with the sport while watching one of his trainings.
Starting at the late age of 13, Raya pushed herself to catch up with the other kids. She started watching Taekwondo sparring videos which inspired her to set new, higher standards for herself. She was encouraged by her Master at the dojang (training hall) in Amman to take part in the Olympics, as he believed that she could be an international fighter.
Her door to being a Taekwondo Olympics champion opened in 2012, when she got the news that she’d be representing in two weeks. Raya felt that this was her chance to flaunt the fruits of all the hard work, sacrifices and dedication she’d put in to her training.
Raya’s journey as a Taekwondo instructor started at a young age. She got promoted to the master’s assistant when she was 16, and continued practicing for higher black belt rankings until she became a master in 2012. A year later, she started working as a senior instructor in Canada. She continues to teach Taekwondo today at one of the most elite schools in the County.
Today, Raya has her own fitness page called @fit.w.Ray, and she uses this as a channel to create helpful and meaningful content, to stay connected with people, and to find new opportunities. Raya’s favourite part about being an entrepreneur is the flexibility in her hours and freedom to choose who she gets to work with. She believes that great things happen to those who continue to work hard, stick to their standards and hold great work ethic.
Entrepreneurship runs in the family too
Sarah Hatahet, an artist, art curator and art educator, also finds herself on the entrepreneurial journey. Raya describes her sister as the closest person to her. Throughout their respective entrepreneurial journeys, the two support and provide each other with feedback when needed.
Raya’s goal for her business is to do more cross training and coach different teams, and to use her fitness skills to help other entrepreneurs succeed. If she could go back and change one thing about her journey, Raya would start Taekwondo classes at an earlier age. She advises women who are working towards their goals to mute the noise of people who question and doubt what you’re doing, and keep going.