Edition No. 41. Winter, 2004. Today is
TWOJ Player Profiles
Karen Roberts

Date of Birth: Oct. 26, 1976
Place of birth: England
Rank: Nidan (2nd degree black belt)

Olympic Games: Sydney '00
World Championships: Birmingham '99

Fact File :
Pinewood Judo Club
Coach: Don Werner
Years in Judo: 15 (since age 8)
Occupation: Student, Brunel University
Hobbies: F1 racing, music, films, most sport

Favourite Colour: Purple
Favourite Food: Chocolate
Favourite Actors: Jackie Chan and Sharon Stone
Favourite Film: Stand By Me
Favourite Author: Martina Cole
Favourite song/ group: Graffiti Bridge- Prince & the NPG

1992 Young Sportswoman of the year

Top finishes:
1999 World Judo Championships, Bronze
1999 World Student Games, Silver
1999 Fukuoka Cup, 5th Place
1999 British Open, Gold
1999 Austrian "A" Tournament, Gold

1998 Dutch "A" Tournament, Bronze

1994 British Open, Gold
1994 Junior European Championships, Gold

1992 Junior World Championships, Gold
1992 Junior European Championships, Bronze

1992 US Senior National Championship, 1st place
1992 US Junior Olympic Championship, first place
1992 US International Invitational, 3rd place

1991 US Senior National Championship, 1st place
1991 US Olympic Festival, 1st place


In her own words...

Hi, my name is Karen Roberts. I am an international judo player and I train at Pinewood Judo Club under the tuition of my coach, Don Werner. I am 23 years old and compete in the under 63 kg event, at which I recently won a bronze medal at the 1999 World Judo Championships in Birmingham. This was my best ever result and qualified me for a seeded place at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. I have been improving rapidly and at the World championships I exceeded expectations and produced my best judo yet. My sights are now set on Sydney where I will be competing in the Olympic Games for the first time.

I started judo at the age of 8 on a course at my local Sports Centre, St Crispins. After the course I was advised to go to Pinewood, where I have trained ever since. I attended the Holt School in Wokingham until I had completed my A levels. During this I won the International schools championships and a Junior World title. On leaving school I went to work for Xtrac Ltd, producers of Motorsport transmissions, to help me fund my training. By this time I was travelling all over the World for competitions and training events so this was much needed income.

After sometime at Xtrac I left to go to Brunel University to study Materials Science and Engineering so that I could gain a qualification for life after judo. I still have one year of my course to complete, which I will do after the Olympics. My studies have been going very well so far and I am currently on course for a 1st class degree. I have always been studying or working while competing and I feel the two have complemented each other. However I have deferred my final year for one year so that I may concentrate on the Olympics in September 2000.

I started 1999 in Japan at the Fukuoka Cup, which is one of the hardest tournaments on the calendar, and I earned a very creditable 5th place. This gave me a great boost and at my next 'A' tournament in Austria I won the gold medal. As the year has progressed, my judo has gone from strength to strength. I took the British Open title in April and was then selected to represent Great Britain at the 1999 World Student Games, the world's second largest sporting event. There I won the Silver medal which not only delighted me, but also my University.

In October I took Bronze at the World championships, thus qualifying for the Olympics, and that was the icing on the cake for 1999. Now, I have to start all over again in the millennium, when all my training and competitions will be geared towards achieving my ultimate goal - winning an OLYMPIC GOLD medal. As a result, I will be training full time and to do so I need all the help I can get. I am looking for sponsorship, to aid my quest for Olympic glory, so that I can afford to travel to the best tournaments and the best training camps.

If anyone can help me in this area, or knows anyone who can, please contact me at: karenroberts@twoj.org
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