We’re counting down to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 by getting to know our Welsh judoka a little better. Here, Callum Bennett 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 3 years old. My dad took my brother and I when we were younger and ever since I stepped on the mat for the first time I’ve never looked back.
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 so happy and proud to know that I’d get the chance to do what I’ve always wanted to do my whole life, which is to fight for and represent my country. My family and friends were very happy for me and congratulated me on my selection and wished me the best of luck.
What aspect of the Games are you most looking forward to most?
I’m looking forward to every single aspect of the Games and going to enjoy it because it’s such a rare experience that not many people get. I think In particular I’ll look forward to meeting other athletes from different sports and countries.
Who has been your greatest mentor in your judo career so far?
The greatest mentor in my judo career has been all the coaches that have helped me get to where I am today, because without all the help and support from them I wouldn’t have learned new skills and aspects which have allowed me to become a better judo athlete. My current coaches Stephen Abberley and Mark Earle have helped me gain a lot of new knowledge and new aspects of my fight game which has helped me massively in how I deal with my fight management.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from judo?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned from judo is how to never give up and to always try your hardest because it is possible achieve your goals. You can be successful if you put the work and effort into everything you apply yourself to.
What is your fondest judo memory to date?
My fondest memory to date was representing Wales at the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2017 out in Bahamas. But now to be selected for the Commonwealth Games is at the top of my fondest memories and achievements.
What does wearing the Team Wales uniform and representing Wales mean to you?
Wearing the team wales uniform and representing my country means a lot to me, not many people get to say they’ve represented their country at such a high level so to be able to wear the Welsh dragon and logo and represent my country means a lot.