Coventry University graduate to represent Great Britain at Paris 2024 Olympics

Emma Reid wearing her Great Britain tracksuit and World Championship bronze medal

Emma Reid wearing her Great Britain tracksuit

University news

Monday 01 July 2024

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A Coventry University graduate has seen her dreams come true as she prepares to represent Team GB at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Emma Reid took home the bronze medal at the recent World Judo Championships and that proved enough to see her qualify for the Olympics in Paris which start at the end of July.

When Emma was at the start of her sporting journey, she enrolled on the Event Management course at Coventry University and was also accepted on the sports scholarship scheme which offers money and support towards people’s sporting goals – allowing her to not have to choose between her judo career and going to university.

Now just over ten years later the 28-year-old is set to fight on the biggest stage possible in front of a worldwide audience.

It’s my first Olympics so it feels amazing. It’s what you work towards and finally after years you reach the pinnacle of your career and your dreams. You think ‘I’ve done what I needed to do’ but then you’ve got to reset your brain as you’re still fighting in like six or seven weeks.

The aim was to qualify but the more you get into it and winning bronze at the World Championships is a great booster to think I can actually go in and medal at the Olympics, which if I told myself that 10 years ago I’d be like ‘you’re crazy!’.

Emma Reid

Emma has kept close ties with Coventry University, including those who run the sports scholarship scheme, and occasionally returns to the city she called home for four years before graduating with a degree in Event Management.

Coventry was also the location of her Commonwealth Games success in 2022 when she won gold by beating one of her idols in Natalie Powell.

It’s completely different from when I started over 10 years ago – every time I come and visit there’s a new building or a new something else. It’s weird because I’ll think ‘I remember being there but it doesn’t look the same’ but the memories are still there.

The sports scholarship was amazing throughout my four years here. I was a self-funded athlete so the university helped immensely with paying for trips I might want to go on which I wasn’t funded for which was a great help throughout the whole of my university degree. It wasn’t just the monetary scholarship though as you got strength and conditioning training and nutrition as well which for me at that age was really beneficial.

Emma Reid

To see Emma achieve this dream of qualifying for the Olympics is just amazing and to confirm her place with a bronze medal at the World Championships is an incredible achievement in itself.

Emma was always a fantastic student athlete during her time at Coventry University, dedicating herself to her sport and studies, while engaging with the support available. It will be a very proud moment to see one of our sport scholarship graduates representing Great Britain in Paris this summer and we wish Emma the very best at this most prestigious event.

Tom Shakespeare, Coventry University’s sports scholarship performance manager