12:12 PM October 3, 2022
A young judo star from Brookmans Park has become national champion after winning the 2022 U12 British National Judo Championships.
Emma Almond was one of the youngest competitors at the age of 10, but she dominated the U28kg category at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Saturday to be crowned champion.
She won all three of her contests on the day with an impressive range of throwing and grappling techniques, showing remarkable strength, calm, focus and a tactical maturity beyond her years.
Emma’s national win continues an impressive return to judo, with her dad and coach Ben saying: “Her national success comes on the back of a very successful 12 month return to judo, following the enforced closure of judo clubs for almost 18 months due to Covid .
“In the past year, Emma has won medals at all 12 of the tournaments she has attended across the UK, Belgium and Holland, including winning gold at the IAPS Schools National Championships in February and a bronze at the prestigious Venray International event in Holland in June.”
Judo runs in Emma’s family, with the Manor Lodge School pupil looking to emulate the success of her older brothers.
I am also her judo coach and her judo accomplishments therefore unsurprisingly follow a formidable family tradition,” said Ben.
“Here three older brothers, all now black belts, have previously won seven national medals between them including three national championship wins in 2010, 2016 and 2018.
“With the support of her family, her club and her school, Emma’s aim is to emulate their successes and follow their pathway into the England Judo Squad and on to higher level international competition.”
Emma’s commitment to this goal, and other sports, cannot be questioned, with Ben continuing: “She trains two evenings a week at Moberly Judo club in London as well as regularly performing technical drills and strength and conditioning sessions in her own home dojo.
“During the summer holidays she also attended a weekend international training camp in Bath and a further week’s judo camp in Portugal in August.
“In addition to judo, Emma also finds time to play hockey twice a week for Southgate U10’s, has achieved level 1 proficiency in gymnastics, represents her school at both hockey and netball at U10 and U11 level, and is an accomplished cross-country runner .”