A judo star who is set to take the mat at the Commonwealth Games has said she doesn’t want to “waste energy being nervous”.

Rachel Tytler has instead got her eye on the prize and hopes to return home with a medal.

The 25-year-old, who will be competing as part of Team Scotland, told the Glasgow Times: “I am excited. I’m a wee bit nervous about it, but I’m trying to block out that it’s a competition almost and just get excited about the fact I’m at the Commonwealth.  

“I don’t want to waste energy being nervous.

“You always want to win it, but equally, just being part of Team Scotland at the Commonwealth is enough. 

“But it would be great to get a medal.”  

Glasgow Times:

The Commonwealth Games are being held in Birmingham between July 28 and August 8.

Tytler, from Bearsden in East Dunbartonshire, has been enjoying judo for around 18 years.

She currently coaches for Pro Judo in Glasgow and is a member of Judo Scotland.

Tytler said: “I got into it because on a Friday night some family friends would look after a bunch of us and we were too much of a riot, so some of us got sent off to judo to burn off that energy.

“I got stuck in and learnt I was actually alright at it.  

“The club was really encouraging and supportive of me doing more competitions and classes, and for me getting that encouragement from the coaches at the club definitely helped me do more with the sport. 

“I find the sport so inclusive, but it constantly changes as well.  

“You can fight opponents from different countries and though you’re both doing judo, you’re doing different styles of it.  

“So, it’s a constant challenge to know how you’re going to approach a fight.” 

Glasgow Times:

Tytler will be joined in Birmingham by fellow Pro Judo coach David Ferguson, 26.

The two have had a lot to celebrate recently.  

As well as being accepted into the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the two have competed in a range of competitions across Europe throughout the year and have both picked up some impressive wins. 

Tytler managed to score fifth place in the Dubrovnik European Cup earlier this year, with Ferguson taking home silver.  

When it comes to the Commonwealth Games, Tytler will be competing in the heavyweight category, whilst Ferguson, from Bishopbriggs, will compete in the lightweight.  

This will be the pair’s first time competing in the Commonwealth Games.  

Tytler said: “Neither of us have done it before, but both of us went and watched it in Glasgow.  

“We knew a lot of the Scottish athletes that were competing, and we’d trained with them, so it was very exciting to see them being able to perform.  

“The atmosphere was unreal. So, I’m looking forward to it from this perspective now as well.

“It’s still pretty surreal though.”  

Glasgow Times:

In order to prepare for the upcoming Games, the pair have been travelling across Europe to various training camps. 

Tytler added: “We were just in Alicante at an Olympic training camp last week, so that was very heavy duty.  

“We’ve also been down to the British Training Centre to train, and we’ve got the European Open this weekend in Switzerland, and then our final prep camp after that.  

“So, we haven’t done masses of training here, but we’ve done a lot away, which has been great to have different bodies to train with.”  

The pair’s next major goals are to reach the Paris Olympics in 2024, as well as the next Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.