Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C


Gemma Moore is a rising star of judo

19:21 18 October 2012

Gemma Moore

Gemma Moore


FIRST appearances can be deceiving and that was certainly the case when I met rising judo star, Gemma Moore, at Otley College last week.


The 16-year-old is quiet and unassuming away from the mat, despite being ranked in the top five juniors in Great Britain.

Standing nearly a foot taller and probably weighing almost twice as much, I didn’t feel particularly intimidated when it was suggested I should be thrown about a bit by the teenager – all in the name of sports journalism!

Now I can safely say that size DOESN’T matter as she effortlessly threw me over her shoulder and on to the college gym’s crash mat, before engaging me in an arm lock.

A part-time judo player, the former Debenham High School does not have the luxury of being able to devote all her efforts to the sport – which is a scary proposition.

But that has not stopped her from scooping a Commonwealth Championship silver medal at Under-20s, back in January, while she achieved her first national gold medal at the tender age of ten.

If this is what she is capable of as a part-time athlete, then who knows what she will be able to do at full-time level.

Her target is the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in either Turkey, Japan or Spain.

Achieving such a feat would not only be a proud moment for the pupil, who is studying an extended diploma in Sports Performance Level 3, but also for her family.

Her coach and step-dad David Oates is a GB Judo coach, based at North Lopham, near Diss, and his brother is Colin Oates, who recently finished seventh at the London Games in the summer.

The first aim of Gemma, who has represented GB at cadets level, is to reach the senior GB squad and she will do that if she medals at next January’s British Closed Championships.

“I would like to go to the next Olympics but I think 2016 might come round a bit soon to me in terms of my strength and experience,” she said.

“To get into the GB squad would be a start but it would be nice to follow in Colin’s footsteps too.

“It’s tough at the moment because I am only training twice a week and my peers, the likes of Jemima Duxbury, are a bit older than me and training full time.”

Gemma’s love of judo began at the tender age of four-and-a-half, even though she was not supposed to be taking part in the sport at that age.

The hobby soon became something more serious as she began realising her potential.

“I was four-and-a-half but I told the club that I was five as that was the age I had to be to start,” recalls Gemma, who finished fifth at the British Judo National Championships, in Sheffield, at the weekend.

“I thought it was just going to be a hobby but then my coach took me to a national event and when I won my first gold at the age of 10, I realised that I could take it further.”

Fast-forward to the current day and Gemma is now starting to see other youngsters embark on a similar road to hers.

The youngster believes the Olympics has had a lot to do with that.

“A lot of people were talking about the Olympics has seen quite a few people come back to he sport as well as new juniors taking it up at our club,” added the teenager.



Matt Clarke, right. Photo: The Portsmouth News/Joe Pepler

Ipswich Town legend Ray Crawford has hailed young Blues loanee Matt Clarke’s contribution at Portsmouth, following the teenager’s summer loan switch to the League Two promotion hopefuls.

Ipswich Town's current back four, Jonas Knudsen, Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith and Christophe Berra

Former Ipswich Town hero Kevin Beattie has called for the Blues’ defence to get back to basics, but believes Mick McCarthy’s men can still reach the Championship’s top-two.

Tommy Oar

With Mick McCarthy threatening to shake up his under-performing Blues, Australian winger Tommy Oar is likely to come into contention to make his league bow at Portman Road.

Neil Warnock has back Mick McCarthy to get Ipswich promoted

Veteran manager Neil Warnock has backed Mick McCarthy to bring success to Portman Road – but believes the Blues may need to strengthen in the January transfer window for it to happen.

Ipswich Town v Stevenage
Capital One Cup First Round.Josh Yorwerth scores  for Town .

Josh Yorwerth can take his second chance at making it as a Championship centre-back with both hands.

David McGoldrick applauds the fans after Town's 5-1 loss at Reading

The Blues have slipped from top at the end of August to their current 12th position, but what’s going wrong at Portman Road? Sports writer Chris Brammer is here to answer your questions from midday on Wednesday.

Cole Skuse at Ewood Park on Saturday

Cole Skuse has admitted Ipswich Town aren’t hitting their targets at the moment, following the latest episode in their worrying slide down the Championship table.

Josh Yorwerth was part of the Crawley side which lost at Plymouth

Josh Yorwerth and Matt Clarke both played 90 minutes as loan clubs Crawley and Portsmouth both failed to earn victories in League Two on Saturday.

Larsen Toure and Luke Chambers conspire to concede a first half penalty at Blackburn bringing down Hope Akpan

Will Ridgard dissects Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Blackburn, where Ipswich Town’s slide continued heading into the international break.

Cole Skuse battles during the second half at Ewood Park

All the goals from Ipswich Town’s 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages