A judo athlete from Royston is gearing up to make her Olympic debut this summer - as she follows the inspiration of her own mother.

Emma Reid is in pole position to represent Team GB in Paris after a prolific qualifying campaign, which culminated in landing a bronze medal at last month’s World Judo Championships.

Selection news for the Paris games will come early next month with the 29-year-old hoping to add to the gold medal earned at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

And after only becoming a full-time judoka in 2021, she says she draws all her inspiration from mum Lesley, who as a partially-sighted athlete, narrowly missed out on selection for the London 2012 Paralympics after claiming a bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships and a silver medal at the 2011 IBSA World Games.

Reid said: "I have both of my parents to thank for introducing me to judo from an early age – but knowing what my mum has achieved in the sport, despite having a sight condition, and missing out on the Paralympics provides me with extra motivation to go out there and land an Olympic gold medal for her.

"My mum won her medals when she was 50 and with a sight condition called macular degeneration, which is where there is a loss of central vision.

"She has been a great mentor and inspiration for me throughout my career both personally and professionally.

"Competing at the Olympics is the pinnacle for any sportsperson, so if I am selected it won’t just be a reflection of what I’ve done, but the hard work and dedication of the great support network that I have around me – particularly my parents, my coach Jamie Johnson, and my personal coach Steve Sandy from Redbridge Judo Club, which is where I trained before turning full-time."

Reid's parents Iain and Lesley still coach to this day at the Royston Leisure Centre-based Melbourn Judo Club, which is where Emma began her journey.

And she would love to bring them back a medal, something which she believes could inspire the next generation of judoka.

She said: "In Tokyo, one of my friends and team-mates Chelsie Giles won Team GB’s first medal of the Games, and I’d love to be able to achieve something similar this time out.

"A medal would mean so much for me and my family and coach, but also for the sport in general, as it can hopefully inspire the youngsters of today to follow a similar path."

Hertfordshire could have a second athlete selected too, Amy Platten of St Albans.

For more information about judo clubs across the UK, visit www.britishjudo.org.uk

For news of Melbourn Judo Club, email melbournjudoclub@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/groups/461002890764089