My name is Lele Nairne and I am a Great Britain female Judo athlete 25 years of age. I train and compete as a full-time athlete across the UK, Europe and throughout the World.
I started practising Judo at the age of 9 years old at a local club in my hometown. Now 16 years on, I have worked my way up to the top of the ranks in the Great Britain Judo system. I aim to qualify, compete and place at the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Winning a medal at the games has always been my ambition!
As a nation, Great Britain is still yet to achieve an Olympic Gold Medal in Judo.
At the start of my career, as I improved, my dad and I used to travel to serval different clubs in Bristol/ Southwest area. This was a necessity because I needed better practice and different opponents to spar with.
In 2010 came across a club called Bradley Stoke Judo club. Since then that has been the current club. We are based in Bristol and are one of the most successful clubs in the UK, producing many British Champions and European International medallists.
BSJC is a very specialised team because we strive for showcasing are Unique and Different style of Judo that has proven successful on many occasions.
I work closely with my two main coaches who also come with me to world circuit tournaments to coach, Pete Douglas and Nick Brace. We have very strong relationships and both have always been in my corner through great times and dark times.
In 2015 I got offered a place to be a Full-Time athlete at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall, which is the Judo Olympic training centre.
After 5 years of being based at the Elite national centre, to be the best I felt that I needed some variety and change. I feel that if I don’t stop doing new things I don’t grow basically. So after a lot of thought and talking to close ones I made a brave decision to leave the centralised system and move back home to live with family and train full time with my club as an Independent Judo athlete.
Here are some of my achievements to list:
Cadets (-18 years)
- European cup Coimbra, Portugal SILVER
- European cup Teplice, Czech Republic BRONZE
- European cup Pitesti, Romania GOLD
- European cup Teplice, Czech Republic SILVER
Juniors (-21 years)
- European cup Lignano, Italy BRONZE
- European cup Gdynia, Poland BRONZE
- European cup Arad, Romania SILVER
- Belgium Ladies Open Arlon, Belgium BRONZE
- Dutch Open Espoir Eindhoven, Holland BRONZE
- European Championships Gyor, Hungary SILVER
- Senior European cup Orenburg, Russia BRONZE
- European Open Sofia, Bulgaria BRONZE
- European Open Prague, Czech Republic BRONZE
- European Open Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina BRONZE
- Oceana Open Perth, Australia GOLD
- 2 GOLD
- 5 SILVER
- 4 BRONZE
If you want to see all of my results in more detail there are some links included below:
My current aim is to qualify and win a medal at the next Olympic Games, Paris 2024. My dream has always been to bring home an Olympic medal.
To qualify for the next Olympics, I will need to compete at numerous Grandslam and Grandprix tournaments. These world events provide major individual World Ranking Points based on where a competitor places.
In the weight category I am in (-57kg women) there are currently two other GB athletes that I will be battling out this qualification race with so how it will run for Olympic selection they will base it off whoever is the highest ranked.
Only one person per weight category (14 total categories) can go to the Olympics.
Personal Current Rankings:
- IJF Olympic Ranked 9
- British Number 1
Currently, my ranking position has put me in the good lead but a lot more performance and work are required to secure solid qualifications for the 2024 Games.
The qualification period ends on 23rd June 2024. The final Olympic Games selections will be taking place on Thursday 27th June 2024.
In order to be selected for nomination to Team GB the following achievements must be met:
- IJF World Ranking list the top 17
- Be in a top 8 seeded position for the Olympic Games
- Top 5 placing in the World Championships 2023 - 2024
Realistically, I believe this criteria is very possible to achieve, I am more driven and determined than ever with training right now to make this happen!
Being an Independent athlete means that all programming, training, competing and travel organisations come down to myself and the team.
Everything except - Worlds Championships, European Championships, World Masters and Games events, and training camps is completely self-funded by myself.
In my career, I have witnessed a few athletes from Great Britain who have successfully made it to an Olympic Games with an Independent status. Fortunately enough I have had the amazing opportunity to travel, train, follow and learn from them.
Especially being self-funded, the biggest hurdle I face is always having to find ways to generate funds to make this whole operation successful. From experience, it is very difficult to find the time to work alongside training full-time.
Unfortunately in Britain, Judo is not as recognised compared to other nations that do Judo. This makes it difficult when trying to promote yourself and build helpful connections.
So to summarise my campaign, I wrote this campaign to reach out to interested readers that are willing to share my campaign and get my name out there. I'm also reaching out to anyone interested in helping with providing any advice or input.
Any contributions I receive for my campaign would be gratefully appreciated. Donations can also be made through my website lelenairnejudo.com
Thank you to all my supporters and followers who have stuck with me throughout. Please can you get sharing and be a part of my journey!