In the spring of 1994, an 18 month old girl watched as her brother competed at various Judo competitions under the guidance and support of a father who also had pedigree in the sport. This young girl would grow up to win a multitude of awards, including the British Championship an incredible three times.
Modest when discussing her various honours, yet brimming with enthusiasm when asked about her memories of competing, Brunel Physiotherapy student Chloe Jackson is on the verge of fighting competitively again. This comes after a fourteen month lay-off due to an ACL injury which temporarily ended hopes of adding to an impressive list of tournament victories for the 21 year old hailing from Rainham in Essex.
Jackson, along with many other voices within the university, believes Judo should be involved in the Varsity competition against St. Mary’s, and would certainly aid newcomers to the sport who are inexperienced in competitive fighting.
In an era where the government have frequently pledged to involve both children and adults in sports across the board in an inclusive manner, Judo certainly deserves to be up there. The success of holding the 2012 Olympics in London increased participation, and Brunel even offered Jackson a Sporting Excellence Scholarship for her second year of study, a show of recognition of her achievements.
The University should be commended for raising the profile of Judo through this scholarship, and National Champions such as Jackson, who also won a Silver Medal at the European Cup in Spain and a Bronze in Serbia, do not come along every day.
In context, the funding of Judo from the governing body mainly focuses on the elite athletes, but with some renowned coaches at Brunel, along with stars such as Jackson, the sport can grow, and the impressive Brunel alumni thriving in sporting arenas may continue along with it.
Despite being an individual sport in practicality, teamwork is required with a coach a necessity, along with a training partner to help develop different skills and the comfort of having people you know surrounding you when competing abroad.
There is also the chance to share your elation after a victory and the support to pick you up after a defeat. Having competed at the Youth Olympics, and a former British champion, Chloe Jackson is certainly one of Brunel’s finest sporting assets.