As we look forward to celebrating International Women’s Day and all of the great women in our sport on Sunday 8th March, over the next few days we will be getting to know some of our rising female Welsh judoka a little better. Our first interview is with Jasmine Hacker-Jones, Performance Pathway Player based at the Sport Wales National Centre.
Q. In a couple of sentences tell us a little bit about yourself…
JH-J: I am originally from Maesteg Judokwai. Currently train at CEA. I am studying to become a Personal Trainer in college two days a week and work as a Teaching Assistant the other three days.
Q. How did you first get in to judo?
JH-J: I first got into Judo as I was being baby sat by a family friend whose daughter was already taking part in Judo. I got asked to go along, I joined in and really enjoyed it. I signed up to the club and continued to take part.
Q. How does judo contribute to the rest of your life and make you a better person?
JH-J: Judo brings structure into my life and teaches me respect. I owe a lot of life experiences to Judo, due to travelling around the world. I am a team player and feel I have matured as part of the programme. Judo helps drive me to want more for myself.
Q. What are your passions or hobbies outside of judo and how do you think judo helps in those areas / vice versa?
JH-J: I really enjoy taking part in Brazilian Jujitsu, wrestling and MMA outside of Judo. Judo helps with the grappling aspects of these other sports.
Q. Who is your greatest sporting role model and why?
JH-J: Maycee Barber, UFC fighter. 21 years old, she has high goals and a positive attitude. Maycee is a hard worker, confident and has a strong work ethic.
Q. What do you consider your greatest sporting achievement to date?
JH-J: Competing at the Youth Olympics and World Championships.
Q. Where can we see you competing this year? Any main goals you would be willing to share?
JH-J: Competing in European Cups. I am hoping to qualify for the European Championships and World Championships.
Q. What is one piece of advice would you give the next generation of judoka?
JH-J: Enjoy all the experiences. Take every win/Loss as a lesson and always try your best.