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Charlton Judo star becomes patron of London Youth Games
4:42pm Tuesday 23rd October 2012 in Sport
OLYMPIC judo medallist Gemma Gibbons has been confirmed as the patron of the 2013 London Youth Games.
The 25-year-old won silver in the under 78kg class at London 2012, an achievement she famously dedicated to her late mother, mouthing “I love you mum” to the skies as she clinched a finals place. The Charlton-born athlete represented Greenwich at the London Youth Games in her formative years.
The role is as a year-long ambassador to help promote the event to young Londoners.
Previous patrons include six-times Paralympic gold medallist David Weir, Commonwealth weightlifting medallist and fellow Greenwich star Zoe Smith, England’s most-capped outfield footballer Rachel Yankey and former Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu.
Gibbons said: “To be patron of the London Youth Games is amazing.
“I loved competing in the event every year, it was a great experience.
“Now I can still be part of it, even though I am too old to compete.
“I was taken along to judo when I was six years old and I’ve been doing it ever since, so I’ve been doing it a long time now.
“The first time I took part in the London Youth Games it was an amazing experience.”
She added: “I remember going and getting my Greenwich t-shirt and jumper, which we got every year.
“I’d go to collect it, try on which size fitted and just feeling really proud of it taking it home.
“ I’d look at it, folding it up really nicely and getting excited for the day that I was going to get to wear it at the competition.
“Going down to Crystal Palace and competing for Greenwich was brilliant.
“We were all stood there in the same t-shirt and jumpers - all one big team – trying to get Greenwich as high up as possible in the overall table.
“It was the first time I competed in a multisport event and that in itself is something really special and something that a lot of people don’t ever get to experience.
“From there I went to compete at the World University Games and then the Olympic Games.
“I think it’s great that the London Youth Games gives that opportunity to youngsters.
“You have loads of people from the same area competing in their chosen sport aiming for success.
“It’s a great start in sport.”
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