Granite City golds for Focus Judo duo

Focus Judo members Holly Shepherd and Monica Riddell display their medals at the Granite City Grand Prix
Focus Judo members Holly Shepherd and Monica Riddell display their medals at the Granite City Grand Prix

Monica Riddell and Holly Shepherd, both Focus Judo Club members, excelled in their most recent competitive outing at the Granite City open Grand Prix in Aberdeen.

Monica, who is also an apprentice coach with Outreach Judo Club, had to overcome a hurdle before the competition even started, as she had to make weight with the other girls from her category.

She achieved this by running along a nearby beach, easily making weight and going on to win the Gold medal. She had a total of three fights to reach the final, winning them all by ippon. This is Monica’s first medal in a Grand Prix event, which also saw her achieving her first win by submission.

Holly also had a very difficult route through her category on the day.

She was initially faced with an opponent who had beaten her in the past but she didn’t let this faze her and defeated the girl by ippon. She then went on to defeat another two opponents by ippon. The result was that Holly ended up facing the first girl, who had fought very hard and won all her other fights to secure a place in the finals, again. This was a much harder fight and ended up going into ‘golden score’, where the first person to score wins the contest. It was Holly’s hardest fight of the day and again she overcame adversity by defeating the girl and taking Focus Judo’s second gold medal of the day.

This now places Holly at the tip of the Grand Prix points table with a total of three gold and two silver medals.

Focus Judo head coach, Tam Hardie, told us: “We are all very proud of Holly and Monica.

“They both train very hard and are totally committed to learning judo and both try to better themselves each time they compete.

“They have shown this today by both winning gold medals. They are both very good role models and an inspiration to all our younger players. Well done girls!”

Holly, Monica and another six players from the Galashiels-based club will now return to training very hard in preparation for the Scottish age band Championships in November with the aim to bringing more medals back to the club.

Focus Judo train on Monday nights from 6pm, all information at