This year’s Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week theme is Visibility and Partnerships.

We caught up with several members of the JudoScotland Performance Programme to hear about their experience with Sport and Judo.

Josie Steele

“Most importantly participating in sport and especially judo makes me happy and has made me the person I am today!”

“Judo allows me to excel in other areas of my life. It has taught me to approach everything with a high performance mindset, be resilient and overcome setbacks, to name a few. I believe it helps rather than hinders my ability to pursue work and further studies. It has allowed me to manage my time effectively and I have became very good at optimising time I have which helped a lot in my undergrad! It also allows acts as a distraction and break from studying.”

“My biggest role model who I can now gladly call a friend is probably Sal (Sally Conway). Sal contradicts the phrase never meet your heroes in so many ways. The more you know her, the more she inspires you and I believe this is the definition of someone you should look up to.”

“I think it is important for getting girls into judo to have female role models. Contact sports are stereotypically male dominated sports but this is rapidly changing partly due to number of high profile females in these sports- seems to almost be becoming cool!”

Malin Wilson

“Sports used to be a hobby for me. It was my favourite thing to do. Whatever the sport! When
something wasn’t going right in my life, to this day it’s also my escape. But really what sport has given me, or rather more specifically Judo has given me, in one word, is LIFE. Judo has given me life, happiness, a whole new world, friends, family, a home and a purpose as a woman and as a person.”

“Everything nowadays is visual. Through social media, videos etc, that’s how most interaction is done and created. Visible representation of women in sport highlights the beauty and success of self-determination and self-confidence in females, which I think is a fundamental gift to be shared with all girls of all ages.”

Kirsty Marsh

“Judo has massively changed my life, I can’t imagine where I would be without it. Judo has given me confidence, fitness and resilience. I’ve been given so many opportunities, from becoming a coach to competing at the Commonwealth Games. Being a woman in judo (and sport) has its challenges but is also very rewarding. I’m lucky to train alongside a group of supportive and inspiring girls!”

“I find that being involved with judo gives me a better balance with other areas of my life. It’s a great outlet for the stresses of university and work!”

“It’s so important to have visible representation because if you can see it, you can be it. Throughout my judo journey, I’ve always had girls and women who I’ve seen as role models, whether at club, national or international level. Visible representation gives you a path to follow and a belief that you can perform at that level”

“Sally Conway is my role model in judo, not only because she has had amazing success in the sport but also because she is such a positive and kind person!”

Rachel Tytler

“Sport has given me lots of friendships, skills, knowledge and the opportunity to travel the world to compete. It has positively impacted my life by helping me build confidence and resilience which I have been able to transfer into all aspects of life.”

“I have loved watching Gemma Gibbons and Sally Conway as I have grown up and been able to train with them both once I started training at Ratho was hard but they have both taught me lots.”

“Having female representation is important for inspiring the next generation, encouraging girls into sport and developing drive to achieve their goals.”

Kimberley Renicks

Being involved in sport and judo has given me great confidence, respect and responsibility and let me see a lot of the world, representing my country.”

“My role models in Sport have always been my family my dad and my sister just because they are always trying to inspire me to do my best and watching the Williams sisters.”

“Young girls need to see what they can achieve by having women in sports.”