Looking ahead to the Junior European cup in Portugal

A number of athletes will be pushing above their ages, joining other juniors in one of the first Junior European Cups of the year with action taking place in Coimbra, Portugal.

English, Scottish and Welsh judo players will all travel together in their home country squads and when they land, they will all fight under the Great Britain flag at the European Cup.

Emma Reid who did the double at last week’s English Open at junior and Senior level, will be in action, along with Ebony Drysdale-Daley (-70kg) who also took a bronze and silver, Jodie Myers (+78kg) of S.K.K with her junior gold and senior bronze and Jodie Caller (-57kg) of Renzoku who won gold at junior level and silver at senior level in the English Open and bronze at the European Championships.

Bekky Livesey (-57kg) who finished fifth at the junior World Championships last year as well as seizing silver at the English Open and doing the double at the British Championships, will also be in action.

Meanwhile, Sam Hall (-60kg) is looking forward to competing at the junior European Cup in Coimbra, Portugal this weekend, a week after gaining bronze at the English junior Open in Sheffield.

“I’ve got Portugal this weekend which will help me in my goals which are to medal in the European Cups. Then I’ll be looking to medal at the junior Europeans and aim to be in the top five at the junior Worlds before moving on to senior competition in the near future.”

Lulu Piovesana (-63kg) of Bishop Challoner will go out to Portugal fresh from her silver success in Croatia last week and other England players include: Natasha Fraser (-52kg) of The Parks, Chelsie Giles (-52kg) of Coventry, Lele Nairne (-57kg) of Bradley Stoke, Joe Young (-55kg) of Ryecroft, Daniel Powell of Wolverhampton (-60kg), Eric Ham (-66kg) of Glossop, Tom (-66kg) and Will Johnson (-73kg) of Yoshin Ryu, Matthew Kavanagh of Ford/Anglia Ruskin (-81kg), Jamal Petgrave (-81kg) of Westcroft and George Smith (-90kg) of Hardy Spicer/Huddersfield.

Scotland are sending a number of players too including Neil MacDonald (-60kg) and Stuart McWatt (-73kg) off the back their self funding gold medal performances in Croatia last weekend. Liam Donkin (-90kg) will also fight for Scotland and Valentino Volante (+100kg) under the GB flag.

Jade Lewis (-52kg), Kirsty Powell (-57kg), Connor Ireland (-73kg) and Mason Jones (-73kg) will all be in action travelling as a Welsh delegation.

Words by Donna Richardson.