Local girl, Katie Wright, 11, has become British Judo Champion (Under 32Kg) in the Pre Cadet National Judo Championships which took place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Saturday 3rd December.
The Giggleswick School pupil, and daughter of Settle Primary Headteacher Richard Wright, was entered into the Championships following success this year as Midlands Champion in two weight categories, Lancashire Closed Champion and North West Area Judo Champion.
Katie fought her way to the gold medal by beating three other Judokas in succession all by Ippon. The national competition is the most prestigious event for judo players across the country with 294 judoka taking part. Katie’s twin brother, Jack, was among a select few of competitors representing Craven Judo Academy and competing over the weekend.
Katie is coached by Danny Harper, a former GB athlete, at the Craven Judo Academy and took up Judo after an assembly about it at her former school, Settle Primary. She said of her victory:
When I realised I had won my third contest and that meant I had become British Champion it felt amazing. It was great to see my grandad, parents and brother cheering me on and I am so proud of my medal.
Asked who she credits for her success, she said
I am very grateful for the support of my coaches, team mates and my family. We have a very supportive club and I would not have achieved so much without the hard work of Danny Harper and all the other judoka who train locally. Giggleswick School has also been incredibly supportive and staff and friends made me feel like a hero when I returned to school on Monday.
Asked who inspires her, Katie said
Jessica Ennis- Hill inspires me because she seems like a nice person as well as being a really good athlete. I also think Ronda Rousey is someone to look up to because she was a great judo athlete and was unbeaten in the UFC for such a long time. She is so talented and knows what she is doing.