We’re counting down to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 by getting to know our Welsh judoka a little better. Here, Jasmine Hacker-Jones shares her judo journey so far…
How and when did you get into judo? Why did you choose judo?
I started judo when I was 4 years old, I had a lot of energy that needed burning and a close family friend was doing judo at the time, so I went along to a class and loved every minute of it.
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 shocked when the selections were announced, it had been a goal since I was young to compete at the Commonwealth Games and now that I get to make that dream come true is surreal.
My family and friends were so happy for me when they found out and they are extremely excited that they get to watch me compete for Wales at the Games this summer.
What aspect of the Games are you most looking forward to most?
I’m not sure I can just pick one aspect, it’s my first Games so I’m looking forward to taking in every single moment as I know it’s going to be an experience I’ll never forget.
Who has been your greatest mentor in your judo career so far?
Over the years I’ve worked with a lot of different coach who have impacted my judo career massively but in the last two years I have really learned a lot from Mark Earle, the current head coach, I have really found the biggest change in my judo since implementing the things that mark has been showing us.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from judo?
That no matter what you go through, just keep going and don’t give up on what you really want!
What is your fondest judo memory to date?
I have had so many great experiences and memories in judo but one that really stands out to me was competing for GB at the European Youth Olympics.
What does wearing the Team Wales uniform and representing Wales mean to you?
The Commonwealth Games is the only time we are able to compete under the Welsh flag, so I feel incredibly honoured to be able to compete with the dragon on my kit.