Team England has today announced the 14 athletes that will make up the host nation’s Judo team at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Taking place at the Coventry Arena from August 1st – 3rd, the sport is making a return to the Commonwealth schedule having been previously excluded in the 2018 Gold Coast games. Team England’s judo roster consists of athletes with previous Commonwealth Games and European Championships experience.

The athletes announced to represent Team England are:

·       Ashley McKenzie – Camberley (from London)

·       Sam Hall – Bilston (from Sheffield)

·       Gemma Howell – Telford (from Stafford)

·       Jemima Yeats-Brown – Walsall (from Pembury)

·       Lachlan Moorhead – Sheffield

·       Amy Platten – St Albans (from London)

·       Acelya Toprak – Wolverhampton (from London)

·       Kelly Petersen-Pollard – Birmingham (from Sutton Coldfield)

·       Emma Reid – Walsall (from Cambridge)

·       Daniel Powell – Walsall (from Birmingham)

·       Jamal Petgrave – London (from Carshalton)

·       Rhys Thompson – London

·       Harry Lovell-Hewitt – Stroud (from Gloucester)

Sam Hall, one of four Team England judoka that will compete on the opening day of the three-day Judo competition, said: “It feels amazing to be selected for the Commonwealth Games. It’s not often that we get to compete in front of a home crowd. Having witnessed previous home Games, it is always a special atmosphere and one I can’t wait to experience for myself.”

2019 European Junior Champion, Kelly Petersen-Pollard commented on her selection: “I still can’t believe I’m officially going to the Commonwealth Games in my hometown. My boyfriend, family and all my friends are going to be in the crowd supporting me - I can’t wait!

“This will be my first multi-sport Games and I can’t wait to be a member of one huge team. It’s going to be a fantastic experience, from kitting out to the village; I can’t wait to experience it all!

“From being a Sir John Hanson Scholar since 2019 and dreaming to be part of the team and having Denise Lewis as my mentor to being officially selected just tops it off. Bring on Birmingham 2022!”

Current European Champion, Gemma Howell said: “I’m really excited to have my whole family come and watch me. They all had flights to the Tokyo Olympics and had to cancel because of Covid-19 and I think this will be an amazing atmosphere with a home crowd. I missed out on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 because of injury so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to fight for England!”

Team England’s Chef de Mission, Mark England OBE, welcomed the athletes to the team: “I’m excited to see our athletes take to the mat in the Coventry Arena as judo returns as a core Commonwealth Games sport this summer. It is an honour to welcome the 14 athletes to Team England.”

This summer, Team England will comprise of over 400 athletes in total, all of whom will look to capitalise on the once in a lifetime opportunity to bring home success in their own country.

You can get behind Team England by following its social channels where each athlete will become Part of the Pride in the run up to Birmingham.

The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport event with a fully integrated programme of para sport disciplines and this year’s Games promises to be extra special with full stadiums and arenas after Tokyo 2020 took place behind closed doors. Birmingham 2022 is set to have the largest ever female and para sport programme in history after a new discipline of Women’s T20 Cricket, Beach Volleyball and Para Table Tennis were confirmed.