Richmond youngster wins gold at British Judo Championships

Abi Collier with her gold medal.

A young athlete has struck gold at the British Judo Championships.

12-year-old Abi Collier, from Richmond, competed in the junior female 10-12 52-57kg category and came away with the national title.

Abi, who attends a Year 8 student at Richmond School & Sixth Form College, has been training with FIJ Sportif, under the direction of head coach Glynn Fidgeon, for over three years and her potential was evident from the start.

Glynn said: “Abi came to my club after I ran a taster session in her primary school.

“I spotted her potential straight away and put her onto my talent program where the children train twice a week specifically toward competition judo.

“I noticed Abi was very strong and that she has flexibility from the start which is perfect for judo.

“I was very proud of Abi’s performance at the British Championships winning all her contests to be crowned British Champion. I’m looking forward to watching Abi’s judo development in the next few years and to see where it takes her.”

Abi puts in a huge amount of effort to her sport and trains at the club twice a week, as well as many hours in gym sessions and keeping herself fit.

She is currently a green belt and is training hard for her blue belt.

This is the fifth time that Abi has competed at the British Judo championships, held twice yearly, previously securing silver and bronze medals so she was delighted to step onto the top podium and collect gold this year.

Being at the lower end of the weight category was a challenge for Abi but with her skill and technique she outperformed the other competitors.

Abi said: “I became interested in judo after my coach came into my primary school to do a taster session.

“I quickly realised that judo was a sport that really appealed to me and I have never looked back. It’s not only a great way to exercise and keep fit but you meet a lot of new people too and it’s great fun.

“I really enjoy contact sport and I also play rugby.

“I was over the moon to achieve the gold medal as the standard was very high – it’s a great way to finish off the year.  Thank you so much to Glynn at FIJ and my family for supporting me at this event and throughout the year.”

Abi competes in the North-East four or five times a year and is now looking forward to training hard throughout 2022 and continuing to compete in regional and national events.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, said: “This is an awesome achievement for Abi whose resilience, drive and determination have resulted in her being top of her class in the country.

“She is clearly going from strength to strength and with her track record I am sure we will see her on the podium again very soon.”