Judo: Triple for Judo Olympian Sophie Cox

Date published: 14 November 2017

Littleborough’s two-time judo Olympian Sophie Cox has been appointed regional coach for England Judo at pre-cadet, cadet and junior levels, been awarded her fifth Dan, and has  set up a website providing online judo coaching. 

Sophie says: “My own judo potential was first spotted when I went along age six to Oulder Hill Judo Club to be coached by Mike Wynstanoha and Ken Gill.

“Two years later they sent me to the legendary Brian Moore (seventh Dan) at Bacup Judo Club, and the rest, as they say, is history.

"The coach’s role is vital and for England Judo I will be looking to inspire future internationals and Olympians. It is a great opportunity to share my experiences at all levels of judo with the potential future stars.

“This year I was awarded my UK Sports Council level four Judo Coaching award and the British Judo Association Elite Athlete to Coach qualification. I also received a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Coaching Practice from Sheffield Hallam University, to add to my degree in Health and Exercise studies which I obtained during my full time training some years ago.

“With four years’ experience as an athlete mentor for Sky Sports for Living, the Youth Sports Trust and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, I now feel I have the academic qualifications and practical experience to coach at all levels.

“I aim to give of my best in all my coaching and competitive activities. Along the way I hope I can encourage people of all ages and from all walks of life to take part in the exciting, challenging pursuit of Mixed Martial Arts and in particular judo. I have always been enthusiastic to explore what all the martial arts have to offer and to be open minded to valuable crossover links between judo, Brazilian jiu, free style judo, sambo and wrestling.

“I espouse a holistic approach to coaching. If I am successful I believe I will have left a positive legacy- repaying in some small degree the significant debt I owe to Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan Judo in Japan.

“Judo is, and will always be for me, a way of life.”

Sophie's fifth Dan was presented by her coach and mentor Brian Moore at Bacup Judo Club.

She said: “Brian presented me with my first Dan when I was 15-years-old, and 21 years later he is still supporting me in everything connected with judo.

“I have never really taken much notice of grades before, but this means a massive amount to me, as I know it does to Brian. 

"For most of my life judo has given me a focus, opportunities and aspirations. It has helped me to grow and develop as a person.

“I like to think that my fifth Dan is a testimony to my commitment to the values of judo. Through competing at elite level I have had some life changing experiences and now through my coaching I hope to be a role model for other judoka.”

Talking about her new website, Sophie said. “You have got to explore all avenues to make judo accessible. Online demonstrations with my long-time friend and training partner Heywood’s Danny Carr (second Dan) have proved very popular. This year after all my coaching abroad, my online material helps me keep in contact with colleagues worldwide. And will prove invaluable in my new role for Judo England.

“I can now provide online seminars, classes, personal coaching, fitness plans and courses for schools, clubs and colleges.

“So, it's been an exciting and busy but rewarding couple of weeks.

“The elbow injury I sustained in the final of the World Judo Masters in Sardinia seems to be well on the mend. I am hopeful of resuming international competition in adult and masters BJJ and masters judo.

“There is nothing like the hotbed of elite competition to keep up-to-date with techniques and match strategies.

“This year, winning world titles in BJJ at adult and masters levels and a silver medal in the World Judo Masters shows that I can do as well as teach.

"I feel lucky to have had a career in the sport I love: here's to the next 20 years.”

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