Becoming Commonwealth Champion in 2014 was just the start for Louise Renicks, from completing her master’s and joining GB Home Nation Support Coach and Elite Coach Development Programme, Louise has taken the transition from player to coach in her stride. Not to mention having two children along the way.

We caught up with Louise for Scottish Women and Girls in Sport week to hear about her journey and experience in sport and Judo. Discussing the barriers facing young women and girls in sport, Louise reflected on her own experience.

“As a young girl taking part in sport, I just remember having fun with other girls and boys. As I started to get older and read more autobiographies of sportswomen and have my own experiences, I learnt that a lot of girls/ young women lost confidence during puberty and just left sport.”

“I believe having belief, confidence in myself and pushing through the nerves I used to get when I was young, has made me the woman I am.”

After retiring from competitive Judo Louise turned her focus to coaching sister Kimberley. With a real passion for sport and health, Louise has also been involved in volunteering before specialising in Judo and committing to her development as a coach.

“Working with beginners to high-performance athletes, and club coaches is rewarding and just sharing my knowledge is important. I like to test myself and by working with various people I get to identify more about myself and how to adapt as a coach. Coaching judo is like being an athlete, you are always learning.”

“Just before Covid I completed my master’s in advanced Coaching and then last year I managed to get a job with the GBR home nations. Just when I thought I could have a break from studies I then had to attend the IJF Academy Coaching Award. I am proud to have the award, after putting in the hours of work individually and as a team, as it was not easy with a newborn and a young toddler. I felt proud as a woman and my multi-tasking that day.”

Finishing up with some wise words, Louise added, “Sometimes the pathway and job you want may not happen and going somewhere else or in another direction will get you to the job you want. Always keep your options open, follow your heart and believe in yourself.”