JUDO: Tom eyes Rio funding lift

Tom Reed, outside Number 10 Downing Street this week

Tom Reed, outside Number 10 Downing Street this week

First published in Sport

DEVIZES judoka Tom Reed had an appointment at Downing Street this week as he steps up his bid to make the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Reed, who won a silver medal for England at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at the U81 kgs category, was one of the guests at a reception held by Prime Minister David Cameron to celebrate the success of home nations’ athletes at the Games.

Reed, who trains at the University of Bath, has now launched a funding drive to try and help his bid to be on the Great Britain team for 2016.

The 28 year old, who missed out on the London 2012 Olympics, said: “I truly believe that if I had the extra resources to do more training camps and international competitions I would be able to qualify for Rio and fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming an Olympian.

“It would be the culmination of 20 years of hard work and dedication to be able to step on to that mat and challenge for an Olympic medal for Great Britain.

“The main thing holding me back is a lack of funding.

“There are approximately 35 Olympic qualification events a year around the globe and I currently have to fund myself to travel to all the competitions that I do.

“I do not receive any funding from my national governing body and each tournament costs between £300-1000 in total to attend.

“Qualification events give athletes the chance to win points to progress up the world ranking list, with the top 22 in this list qualifying for the Olympics.’’

Reed, currently ranked just outside the world top 40, added: “Missing out on London 2012 was a tough experience and I am making sure I give every ounce of energy I have to the next two years to make sure it does not happen again and I am on the team for Rio.

  • For more information on ways to help Reed email tom@aspirejudo.com or see pledgesports.org/projects/road-to-rio-81kg-judo.

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