Olympic Judo medallist wants to return to her Tolworth Girls' school
A judo champion who won a medal in the Olympics wants to go back to her former school to inspire pupils and meet some of her old teachers.
Karina Bryant, who took bronze in the plus 78kg category last weekend, said it would be a “huge privilege” to return to Tolworth Girls School.
A sensational run through the early rounds saw her dispose of Algerian, Slovenian and Kazakh opponents, before succumbing in the semi-finals to world number one Mika Sugimoto.
A victory against Ukraine’s Iryna Kindzerska in the play offs saw her grab her first Olympic medal.
The 33-year-old lived in the borough until she left school, also attending King Athelstan Primary School, but moved to be closer to Camberley Judo club.
Bryant hoped her achievements would inspire young people in Kingston and Surrey to take up sport.
She said: “Sport is a fantastic way of giving confidence to children. It is great for making friends and socialising, but it also teaches you discipline and structure, which help you as you get older.
“Coupled with that it is a great way to get children active.
“I never would be a great honour for me if children in Kingston and across Surrey took up judo and other sports by watching me and other athletes at the Olympics.”
Byrant, who first took up judo aged nine at a club in Hersham, now plans to cheer on her Olympic teammates before heading back to Camberley to celebrate with family and friends.
She said: “I have had my ups and downs, but the support the fans gave to me and all the athletes was just incredible. They have inspired us probably as much as we inspired them.
“I have not been out to celebrate with anyone yet as I have been tied up doing interviews and having meetings.
“As soon as the Olympics is over I will go back to Camberley Judo club, probably have a drink and let my hair down.
“It has been a wonderful experience and something I will never forget.”