Caistor black belt Amy wins British judo title

Amy Atkins returned to the top step of the podium EMN-171016-084054002
Amy Atkins returned to the top step of the podium EMN-171016-084054002

Black belt Amy Atkins will fight for Britain next year after managing to win a national title without a training regime.

A hectic schedule as mum-of-two and businesswoman denied Amy the time to prepare properly for her trip to the British Masters Judo Championships.

But she came through four matches to win the women’s -63kg F2 (age 39-plus) title in Cardiff on her debut appearance at a British Masters tournament.

By winning this title she is now ranked the British number one for her weight and age category

“I wasn’t expecting anything really because I hadn’t really done any training,” she said. “I must have just had a good day.

“With the gym to run and two little kids there just wasn’t the time, but I do a lot of exercise classes which helped me to stay fit.”

Amy (39) took up the martial art at the age of nine and had a successful junior judo career which included a British Open title.

She gained a coveted black belt aged 16 and gained her second dan seven years later.

While serving in the RAF, she also won national and international events representing the military all over the world, and now represents the air force as a reservist.

But Amy, a second dan black belt, ranked her latest win among the best of her career.

“I took judo very seriously when I was a kid,” she added.

“But in terms of British Opens it is the best result I’ve had for a lot of years,

“It’s brilliant and means I can give something back to the military who support me to go and compete.”

Having joined up in 2000, she quickly received both the RAF and Combined Service colours and became Armed Forces champion for her weight category, a title she held for most of her career.

Amy went on several tours of duty, including Iraq, but the birth of her first daughter Caitlin (5) persuaded her to return to civvy street in 2014.

But within 18 months she re-joined the RAF Police Reserves, allowing her to continue with her RAF career and represent the service at judo.

After second daughter Amber (2) came along, Amy came up with a business idea and decided to convert a disused Caistor warehouse into a gym.

BFit Lincs Gym has had more than 600 members through its doors since opening a year ago this week.

Despite this heavy workload, Amy will have to find time for a training regime after earning a place in the British team thanks to her win in Wales.

She said: “The next thing is to start training for the British team, and the next big competition is in Scotland in January.

“I will compete in as many (international) matches as I can.

“My kids have never seen me compete so I hope they will be able to come along, too.”