Judoka aims for gold at BUCS Nationals after throwing down the gauntlet to competitors

Putney judoka Julia Scardone had to settle for silver at last year’s BUCS Nationals – something she is not keen on repeating this week.

Scardone is certainly one to watch at this week’s BUCS Nationals, with three international titles to her name at the age of 23.

She also won the Scottish Open in Edinburgh in January, following on from her triumph in the tournament in 2015.

Scardone studies Sport, Physical Education and Development at the University of East London (UEL) and has won one gold and silver before in the -52kg women’s competition.

She was narrowly beaten to the title last year though and Scardone is hoping to successfully fly the flag for UEL once more in Sheffield.

“I really like representing UEL,” Scardone, a former pupil at the Elliott School, now Ark Putney Academy, said.

“The university itself represents something that’s really important to me – it’s a diverse university and they help students so much.

“When I get to represent the university, they stand for the same things as me, and I’m always proud to carry the name with me when I fight.

“This is my third year doing BUCS, and I’m really hoping to get gold again – that’s definitely my aim for this year.”

BUCS Nationals is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event, and has provided a building block in the careers of many professional athletes.

And Scardone can’t wait to taste the atmosphere at another BUCS Nationals.

“BUCS is great, especially for judo because it’s such a small sport, I think it gets lots of different people from different levels together,” she added.

“It’s really nice for high level players, as it’s quite a relaxed environment on the whole.

“For the lower grade competitors, they get to see different levels of judo and I think that’s really cool.”

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports.

BUCS Nationals is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event, bringing over 6,000 athletes to Sheffield to compete in 9 sports

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