Monday, June 22, 2009

Jayne's wrestling with ring success

REACHING the top of a sport usually takes a lifetime but Grangemouth's Jayne Clason has managed it in just eight months.
Last October the 24-year-old decided to switch from judo to wrestling – despite the fact she was a former British Champion and a top member of the Scottish and British teams.

But in that short time she has shown her natural talent for her new sport by finishing runner-up in the Scottish and British Championships and, most recently, winning the English Open – defeating the British champion in the process!

"I knew I could compete but, to win at such a big tournament after only taking up freestyle wrestling about eight months ago was a great feeling," she said.

The former Grangemouth High School pupil switched sports so she could have the chance to compete in the Common-wealth and Olympic Games where judo is not recognised.

"My dream has always been to go to the Commonwealths and Olympics and I would never had been able to do it with judo as it's not included," she explained.

"I had been at judo training and some of my team-mates were saying I should try wrestling and that appealed to me as it is included in the Commonwealth Games.

"They were wanting to put a womens wrestling team together for Scotland and they didn't want to start from scratch.

''Since I was trained in judo I was told if I did well I would have a chance of being part of the team and going to the games."

She added: "If I had to do any type of sport to get to the Olympics I would do it and of course the next games will be on home soil in London."

The transition to wrestling has been a relatively smooth process for Jayne.

Since the event shares similarities with judo, she has been able to transfer some of the skills that made her such a success-ful competitor in the martial art.

And the fact that Jayne was joined in the wrestling squad with many of her former martial art colleagues means there are many familiar faces on the team as well.

"Wrestling is quite like judo. It's very physical and there is fighting so I really love it," she said.

"My coach did judo as well so he knows about transferring skills and, while the scoring is very different, a lot of the moves are similar."

"The travelling with the team has been good too", she went on.

"Many of the squad used to do judo as well so I know them from that and we have all been medalling too."

Although Jayne has embraced the move there was initial opposition close to home.

Jayne had practiced judo since the age of four as her mum, June, and dad, Robert, are both instructors in the sport.

So after 20 years practicing the martial art, when she told them about changing to wrestling, initially they were opposed to it.

"They were quite against me going to wrestling and my dad wanted me to stick it out but after I started winning my dad has been coming to see me and now wants me to really go for it," she said.

"I have to thank them as, if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have the skills which I have now."

Jayne works as a gym supervisor at Forth Valley College and expects to start a career as a firefighter later this year.

She is now hoping to make her mark on the international stage.

"There is a big competition in Dehli later in the year, which will be in the same places as the Commonwealth games so, hopefully, we will get some international competition there," she said.

"But my big aim is the Commonwealth Games next year so I am really focussed on qualifying for that and medalling there and of course going to the Olympics."

Jayne thanked her sponsor, DB Eco-systems of Grangemouth for their continued support.

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