We're counting down to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 by getting to know our Welsh judoka a little better. Here, Daniel Rabbitt (Dragon's Academy) shares his judo journey so far...
How and when did you get into judo? Why did you choose judo?
I started at the university of South Wales with my still club coach Stephan Abbereley, I was a kid that tried every sport I could, and judo was the one that stuck!
What was your reaction when you found out you’d been selected for the 2022 Commonwealth Games? What was your family and friends’ reaction?
I was ecstatic, I couldn’t wait to fight and do everything to bring back a medal for Team Wales, myself and Welsh judo. Once I found out I felt myself fall into prep mode, feeling a sense of responsibility to do the best I can for my country, myself and family.
What aspect of the Games are you most looking forward to most?
Fighting under my home nation and experiencing the athlete’s village. Immersing myself in the experience of representing Wales so that I can get everything I can from the Commonwealth Games.
Who has been your greatest mentor in your judo career so far?
My greatest mentor so far has been both Stephan Abberley my club coach since I was 7 and Masashi Ebinuma despite being here for such a short time, the elements of his highly successful judo career re already manifesting in my own fighting styles.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from judo?
Judo has taught me how to manage multiple things at once in the sense that being able to perform at elite level sport while travelling away often and completing a university degree , at the same time as qualifying for Commonwealth Games I successfully completed my degree in Sport and exercise science and now moving into my master’s degree.
What is your fondest judo memory to date?
Representing team GB at the European youth Olympic games , for me this was my first experience of top-level sport, which solidified my desire to perform and compete at the highest sporting world stages.
What does wearing the Team Wales uniform and representing Wales mean to you?
Wearing my home nation kit is extremely important to me. Furthermore, being able to compete under the Welsh flag makes me extremely excited and proud. It is also a chance to perform and being a medal back for my home nation instead of UK as a whole, which is very fortunate experience.