We’re counting down to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 by getting to know our Welsh judoka a little better. Here, Gregg Varey shares his judo journey so far…

How and when did you get into judo? Why did you choose judo?

I started judo at the age of 6. I use to wrestle and play fight with all of my family members at any opportunity, so it was recommended by a close family friend that I gave judo a go. I've been hooked and never looked back since.

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 extremely happy be selected to represent Wales at my first Commonwealth Games. It's a great feeling knowing all the hard work and sacrifices over the years, have paid off.

All my family members were over the moon for me. My wife Amanda represented Wales in Netball at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018, so for us it's a really special moment to be able to say we have both represented Wales at a Commonwealth Games.

What aspect of the Games are you most looking forward to most?

I can't wait to step out there on that mat and fight, the atmosphere should be amazing.

Who has been your greatest mentor in your judo career so far?

I've had many people that have helped me along my judo career but Mark Earle has really had the biggest impact on me.

Ever since I started working with him 2019, it's really changed everything for me. I've learnt so much from him in such a short space of time, not just for my own Judo but also what I can take into coaching and plenty of valuable life lessons.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from judo?

Hard work and determination count for a lot.

What is your fondest judo memory to date?

I've got a lot of good memories from my judo journey to date but for me my fondest memories have to of been winning the British Championship last year in front of my daughter and family and also having them there to watch me walk out and compete at my first European Championships this year.

What does wearing the Team Wales uniform and representing Wales mean to you?

I feel very honoured and proud to be able to represent Wales.

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