Mothers on the mat in Portugal
There are many incredible women in judo who are setting an example for all judokas. Some of the mothers are registered for to compete at the Grand Prix in Portugal. Nekoda Davis (GBR), Hannah Martin (USA) and Moira De Villiers (NZL). They are all remarkable role models for women in judo and have achieved great success in the sport. In addition to Davis, Martin and De Villiers, there are many recent mothers in judo, such as Kim Polling (NED) and Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA).
These female judoka are inspiring role models for women in judo and are showing that it is possible to be successful in judo while also being a mother. They are all remarkable athletes and mothers and are setting an example for all judokas.
Nekoda Davis, from Great Britain, is coming back at the highest level in the IJF World Tour. The 2018 World Championships bronze medalist is currently ranked #60 in the world in her weight class U57kg. Davis believes that being a mother has made her a better judoka, as it has made her more patient and resilient.
Hannah Martin, from the United States, is a two-time Pan American Games gold medalist and a three-time US Open champion lives in Denmark. She also had her daughter while competing at an elite level. Martin believes that being a mother has made her more focused and determined in her judo career.
Moira De Villiers, from New Zealand, is a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and a three-time Oceania Championships gold medalist. De Villiers believes that being a mother has given her the strength and courage to take risks and try new techniques. She also believes that being a mother has made her more patient and understanding on the mat.
Many whom have tried to come back haven’t made it and others have made the decision to retire early in order to start a family, without considering the possibility of a return to play.
Double Olympic Champion Clarisse Agbegnenou: It’s really hard to come back after having a baby as our time-management is so different. I’m breast-feeding still so I have to go to the main things only; there’s no extra time for early or late extra training, for now. I have to skip some things but not forever. My body has felt pretty okay. I don’t have enough time and to rest and recoup all my energy.“ She laughed, “I can’t have those long massages now, it’s a part of the deal.”
Davis: “Being a parent makes you better at your job. My Ryia is first and something else will always be the thing that has to give. It’s not about training harder but more intelligently. I’m not wasting any single minute of time. My time with her will be quality time!"
Read the full interview with two friends, Nekoda Davis and Clarisse Agbegnenou, at the IJF Website.