David Somerville

Date: 10/02/2014

Olympian and Commonwealth Games judo player, David Somerville brought home a silver medal for Team Scotland at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002. He is currently involved in preparing the Scottish judo team for Glasgow 2014.

David Somerville is one athlete who has managed to turn his passion into a career.

And for the judo player, or judoka, from Glasgow there is nothing that will ever compete with the excitement and passion of representing Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.

He said: "Judo is an optional sport in the Commonwealth Games so when the decision was made to include it in Manchester 2002, it felt like an incredible opportunity to be part of something so big.

"As Scots we definitely have a great affinity to our country so to get to represent Scotland was very special. For me, the 2002 Games also came on the back of what had been a difficult year so to be part of the event at all, let alone to be able to go on and win a silver medal there, was amazing."

Growing up in Glasgow in the 1980s, it was David's mum who first took him and his brother to judo classes after she got sick of them fighting each other!

Starting out at just seven years old, David progressed at Alba Judo Club in Glasgow before making the move to Edinburgh in order to train on the thriving circuit there.

Along with fellow judokas Graeme Randall and Billy Cusack, David was an integral part of creating training groups for the sport in Scotland, setting the foundations for what has since become the country's National Training Centre for Judo.

Throughout his career, he has worked with up and coming judokas, as well as professional judo players, to help develop their skills.

He said: "I am proud to have been part of the training group which helped to grow judo as a sport in Scotland in the 1990s. In particular, to be able to give back to the sport and coach youngsters at grassroots level remains very important to me."

David is now looking forward to 2014 and has been working closely with the current national judo team to share his own knowledge and experience. His main hope for a Commonwealth legacy is that the Games contribute to Scotland's development as a nation and that Scots feel successful, inspired and proud.

He said: "Since the bid to host the Games here was successful, I've been heavily involved in the preparation of the judo team. We're definitely excited but anxious too, it's huge to have a Games on home soil and I am sure the team will prove themselves when the time comes.

"The increasing prominence of judo in Scotland shows there is already a foundation for the sport's own legacy in place and I'm sure it will only become more popular following the Games.

"On a wider scale, I hope the Games show more Scots what we're capable of as a nation and the sporting success inspires us all to be more driven. There is so much we can achieve on the back of 2014."