Sam Ingram announces his retirement

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Sam Ingram announces his retirement image

Sam Ingram announces his retirement

Posted: 19/06/2019

Judo Scotland athlete, and Team GB Paralympian, Sam Ingram has announced his retirement from competitive judo with immediate effect. 

Ingram represented Paralympics GB at London 2012, taking silver, to add to the bronze medal he secured at Beijing in 2008 in the under 90kg category.  The 2016 Paralympics in Rio marked Sam’s third consecutive Games, where he finished just outside a medal in fifth place. Sam’s consistent performances secured his position as the most decorated athlete on the British Judo Paralympic Programme.

The 33-year-old also achieved silver medals on four occasions at the World Championships in 2007, 2010, 2015 and 2018, as well as successful European Championships where he achieved gold (2011 and 2013) and bronze (2010 and 2015) to bolster his impressive tally of medals. 

Hailing from Coventry, Ingram was born with the genetic eye condition known as corneal dystrophy, meaning he cannot see in colour and has reduced central vision.  Ingram praised judo as being the perfect sport for him; he highlights the competitive and physical nature of judo being key reasons why it fitted him perfectly, with his limited sight not being an obstacle in terms of him starting up and getting on to the mat.  In addition to this, Ingram praises the sport of judo, and the governing bodies involved, for making Judo one of the most inclusive sports to participate in:

“As a sport, Judo in Great Britain has long been at the forefront of inclusive behaviour; we have people of different genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and race, and those with and without disabilities all training, competing and developing as Judoka under one banner, and I’m very proud to be part of this”.

National High Performance Coach, Euan Burton MBE, paid tribute to Ingram:

“I would like to congratulate Sam on a wonderful competitive career that has spanned 3 Paralympic cycles and seen him win 2 Paralympic medals and multiple major championship honours. In addition to his own personal achievements Sam has also played a major role in the de-stigmatising of Paralympic judo within Great Britain and played a pivotal role in the integration of Paralympic and Olympic judoka within the training environment. On a personal note can I add my thanks to Sam as someone who has helped us drive forward culture at JudoScotland and continues to provide inspiration to judoka in Scotland.”

JudoScotland Chairman Ronnie Saez echoed the above sentiments, praising the way in which Ingram conducted himself throughout his illustrious career:

“Whilst Samuel’s International and Paralympic successes speak for themselves - it may also be appropriate to pause and reflect at this time on his embodiment and demonstration of the Paralympic values whilst being one of the World’s leading Paralympic Judo athletes. His determination, equality, inspiration and courage have been to the fore throughout his competitive career and also more recently in his ambassadorial roles for JudoScotland with the ‘Judo Girls Rock’ and ‘iDoJudo’ programmes”.

Ingram is not completely parting ways with JudoScotland; this next chapter sees him taking up a role with JudoScotland as a Regional Development Officer, with a focus on the East of Scotland.  Speaking of his decision to retire in his full statement, Ingram highlights the opportunity for professional development away from performance sport.  Ingram and his wife recently welcomed a baby girl, and this new venture will allow him to focus on both his career and family.

JudoScotland would like to thank Sam for his commitment, hard work and success over the past 12 years, and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.  We’re delighted to have him remain as part of the JudoScotland team in his new role, and know that he’ll be just as successful and will continue to inspire many both on and off the mat. 

Sam’s full statement can be found here.