Get to know our Welsh representatives as we head into the European Cadet Championships in Porec, Croatia, from 23rd-25th June. Here Laurence Hill (Dragon's Academy) shares his judo journey so far...
How and when did you get into judo? Why did you choose judo?
I started judo when I was five attending after school sessions at my primary school. At the time I didn’t know much about judo but it was a convenient after school club to attend with my friends. I chose judo because I liked the head to head competitiveness aspect. I found I really enjoyed it especially once I started competing age eight.
What was your reaction when you found out you’d been selected for the European Cadet Judo Championships?
I was surprised because I didn’t expect to get selected but I was really happy to have the opportunity.
What aspect of the Championships are you most looking forward to most?
I am looking forward to fighting against the best Cadets in Europe and the opportunity to fight for Great Britain in the hopes of bringing home a medal.
Who has been your greatest mentor in your judo career so far?
Its hard to say. I was with my first coach Jonathan Addicott for nine years and without him I would never have started judo and he took me from a beginner to my first British medal. However, since changing clubs after my first club closed due to COVID, my new coach Stephen Abberley has helped me improve more than I could have imagined in just over a year and taken me to European Championships as a second year Cadet which is something many people never get the chance to do.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from judo?
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
What is your fondest judo memory to date? Winning a medal in the Adler Cup because that was my first time travelling abroad to a big international competitio