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Leading Ladies: Tammy Fry

 Tammy Fry hails from Durban and is currently graded 5th Dan in Karate. She has represented the South African Senior National Team for over 10 years and won many international medals at tournaments including the World Games, Commonwealth Championships and All Africa Games.  Tammy has instructed karate, including running her  own karate school/dojo, from the age of 18 and has run self-defence courses all over South Africa and in Australia.

Introduce yourself to us in 3 sentences. 
I am a go getter and an eternal optimist who believes anything is possible. 
What made you get into Karate?
I was 4 years old when my parents started. I could not wait to turn 5 just so that I could also start.  Karate is also so much more than a sport.  It is a way of life and teaches humility, integrity, etiquette, good character whilst building confidence and fitness.  

The Fry family share a close bond and love for karate. Pictured here are Tammy and her sisters.

What are your favourite moments from representing SA?
 There have been so many incredible moments in my 30 years of doing karate, however the best moment was winning the Junior World Championships in 1998.  The small things have also been amazing: family sport trips together, road trips, team training sessions, gradings, watching my own students performing exceptionally well and having the opportunity to change other people’s lives.
Tammy Fry self defence

Tammy training others with self defence tactics,

What are the biggest life lessons you've learnt through karate?
You will fail at some point, get back up and try again. There is always someone better than you…compete against yourself and remain humble always.
You come form 3 generations of vegetarians. Have you ever been tempted to ditch the vegetarian lifestyle?
(Smiles) No way.  I have no desire to eat meat or fish and never have. Plant based diets are not only great for your wellbeing, they are good for the environment too. This may be controversial, but it is my opinion: if I wouldn’t eat a dog, bear or elephant, then I wouldn’t eat a cow, lamb or pig.  Its that simple in my mind.  Plant proteins are readily available so there really is no need to consume meat to be healthy.  

Who says vegetarian means boring?

Tell us about your life in Australia. What made you move abroad? 
We have been exporting our Fry's range of plant based foods to Australia for over 18 years.  We felt by being a part of the Australian community we could learn more about what our potential customers want.  The move has allowed us to focus more on our international business and grow in these regions.  We do remain proudly South African and have our roots deeply entrenched in South Africa.  Our foods were developed in our home kitchen in KwaZulu Natal!  Our products are widely available in the UK as well, including Holland & Barrett, Morrisons, Ocado, mysupermarket.com and many other independent health stores.  They are 100% plant based, high in protein and fibre and contain no nasties.  We choose our ingredients very carefully…if we won’t give them to our own children, we don’t put them in our food.  Everything we make is still developed in our home kitchen.

The Fry family business, a result of 3 generations of vegetarians.

You've recently started a new programme called Tough Love. What is it about? 
Aside from being passionate about plant based diets, I am also passionate about the martial arts and how it changes lives and empowers people. Now more than ever domestic violence needs to be addressed and solutions found. Tough Love is self-defence and functional fitness program designed to empower women and young girls.  The program funds similar programs in South Africa where women exposed to violence can be taught the skills necessary to defend themselves in dangerous situations. These women are all victims of rape or domestic violence.  The course is also designed to build self-confidence and a sense of self-worth.  It is essentially a social enterprise where the women and girls who train with me, fund the courses which I and my qualified team run in impoverished areas of South Africa.  Please see this video link of the last course I ran in South Africa.
Tough love 1jpeg

Tough Love is a project about empowering vulnerable women.

What are your hopes for the future of the programme in SA? 
I hope to grow the program in developed countries so that we can fund more programs in developing countries, such as South Africa.  If anyone is interested in getting involved they can contact me directly to discuss.
What words do you live by? 

The journey to success is not an easy one, but to reach success you must stay on the road.

instagramFollow Tammy on Instagram: @tammy__fry

About Hayley Reichert

Passionate South African in London with a ‘glass half full’ approach to life.