Mearns’ Jane Lawson on her love of Judo

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Fifteen-year-old Jane Lawson speaks to Mearns Academy’s Fraser Nicoll about Judo, a sport she has done from a young age.

Jane Lawson is going into her fifth year at Mearns Academy and recently sat her National Five exams.

Like many others at the school, she dedicates some of her free time to sport.

Not being your average footballer or netballer, Jane has done the martial art of Judo since the age of five.

JudoScotland – the governing body for the sport in this country – say their membership is continuing to rise.

This has come with Judo’s increased audience in both the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio last year, where Scottish athletes competed.

The 2014 Commonwealth games were a highlight for Judo in Scotland, with us Scots winning a total of 13 medals, including 6 golds.

Despite the Olympics looking a bit distant for Jane just now, she is enjoying and progressing in the sport.

Jane, who lives in Auchenblae, is a member of Stonehaven Judo club, where she trains twice a week, as well as going once a week to a Judo club based in Aberdeen.

She has already worked her way through most of the belts, and is now a brown belt.

Currently, Jane is learning her Dan Grade Syllabus in order to get her black belt.

This not only involves learning Judo techniques, but the English meanings for all the names of the techniques – which are written in Japanese.

She is also working on many aspects of the sport, including developing her basis of throws, gripping techniques and movement exercises to improve her stand-up Judo.

In 2015, Jane also had the opportunity to travel to Japan with the Stonehaven Judo club.

This trip included a couple of training sessions in the Kodokan, which was the first ever Judo club in the world.

Jane told me: “Judo is a great sport that people of all ages can get involved in and have fun with.

“Judo is incredibly fair, fun and rewarding. Come along and give it a try.”