Our second interview to celebrate International Women’s Day this Sunday is with Ffion Lovatt, who not only trains full-time at the Sport Wales National Centre, but is also studying Science.
Q. In a couple of sentences tell us a little bit about yourself…
FL: I formerly came from a friendly judo club in Mid Wales called Go Judo. Now I am a full time student studying A level Science at Cardiff 6th form and a full time judo athlete.
Q. How did you first get into judo?
FL: I first got into judo by friends. My first judo session was great and it was nothing like any other sport.
Q. How does judo contribute to the rest of your life and make you a better person?
FL: Judo helped me develop discipline, manners, punctuality, strength, stamina, perseverance, tenacity, toughness and confidence, all character traits that are essential to success and respected by society.
Q. What are your passions or hobbies outside of judo and how do you think judo helps in those areas / vice versa?
FL: My hobbies outside of judo are to travel and explore new places. This helps my judo aspect as I am getting the extra physical exercise I need when fighting on the mat. I also do yoga in my spare time which helps my judo as it gives me a greater range of movement and flexibility when throwing my partner on the mat.
Q. Who is your greatest sporting role model and why?
FL: My greatest sporting role model is Jane Bridge as she was the first woman in history to become World Judo Champion. She won that first world crown in the under-48 kilograms category in 1980 in New York City. She gives me inspiration as she shows that anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it.
Q. What do you consider your greatest sporting achievement to date?
FL: My greatest sporting achievement is that I am now a full time athlete representing Great Britain in international level.
Q. Where can we see you competing this year? Any main goals you would be willing to share?
FL: This year I can see myself competing in Thuringa and Berlin European cup in Germany, Kaunas in Lithuania, Malaga European cup in Spain, Northern Ireland, Cluj Napoca European cup in Romania, Prague in Czech Republic and many more, my goal is to get a medal in the European cup and perform the best of my ability in the competitions.
Q. What is one piece of advice would you give the next generation of judoka?
FL: Work hard and don’t give up on your goals in life.