‘Intense and technical’ GB training camp for St Albans’ Amy Platten

Amy Platten and Yasmin Javadian with Japanese judoka during the Tokyo camp

Amy Platten and Yasmin Javadian with Japanese judoka during the Tokyo camp - Credit: Archant

Amy Platten has described her trip to Japan as part of a British Judo training camp as both “the hardest and best” experience of her life.

Amy Platten and Tokia sensei

Amy Platten and Tokia sensei - Credit: Archant

The camp is part of the GB futures programme set-up by British Judo to identify players who have shown ability in tachiwaza and newaza, throws in the sport.

They said 16-year-old Platten not only had demostrated that ability, but had also shown “fantastic potential to progress into junior and senior international judo”.

And the St Albans High School pupil, who is preparing for her GCSE’s as well as the national championships, said the trip provided her with a whole new insight.

She said: “I was so excited but the trip was far better than anything I could have imagined.

Amy Platten and a Japanese athlete swap tracksuits

Amy Platten and a Japanese athlete swap tracksuits - Credit: Archant

“It was both the hardest thing I have done and by far the best experience of my life. Tokyo was totally different to what I am used to; the food, people and even the judo.

“We had a bit of time to experience Japanese culture and it was also my 16th birthday while I was there.

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“And while there are no friends on the mat, the high school girls were the most wonderful hosts and had a party for me.”

Selection for the futures programme was her main goal at the start of the season and with just 10 selected, both male and female, she knew it would be a tough ask.

GB's Tokyo team which included St Albans' Amy Platten

GB's Tokyo team which included St Albans' Amy Platten - Credit: Archant

But a fine year got her through to a camp unlike anything she has experienced before.

“I have been to a number of British and European camps but this was far more intense and technical,” she admitted.

“We went to the Kodokan, Tokia University and a judo secondary school. The instructors were all World and Olympic medalists and we did more judo in the 10 days than we do in two months in the UK.

“Just the number of players on the mat and the standard of judo was unbelievable. We held our own but it also showed me the level I have to aim for and how much work it will take to achieve my dream of being an Olympian.”

The Olympics goal could see her return to Tokyo in 2020 but before then she has a long road, starting with a busy 2017.

She said: “This is my last year as a U18 cadet and after Japan I want to try and win every tournament, starting with both the U18 and U21 British Nationals this month.

“The next focus is to improve on my three bronzes in European cups, to hopefully be selected for the European Championships and the European Youth Olympic Festival and medal at both.”

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