Woolgoolga judoka dreams of competing at the Paralympics

Jake Fitzpatrick hopes to compete at the Paralympics.

A WOOLGOOLGA judoka is pursuing his dream of competing at the Paralympics.

Jake Fitzpatrick is hoping to compete at both the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, and the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

But to achieve this, he will first take on the best visually impaired judokas the world has to offer.

The 24-year-old is headed to the UK in August to compete at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games in Birmingham.

The Woopi Warriors Judo Club member explained the importance of competing at the World Games.

“I’m looking at trying to make the next Paralympics in 2024, and then if I can get there in 2028,” he said.

“That’s why I’m going to the World Championships, because I need to get more ranking points.

“And because it’s an event of value, it’s double points, and I need to finish top six in the world rankings to qualify for the Paralympics.”

The aspiring Paralympian shared what he loved most about being a judoka.

“I like the fact that I’m constantly learning, and always learning new things whether it’s in sparring or bouts, it’s always a constant process and I have a white belt mentality that I can keep learning new things.”

Due to lack of numbers, Jake must face mainstream opponents.

“There are not many blind judoka in Australia, so I have taken on able bodied and fully sighted opponents,” he said.

“It’s a challenge, but I’ve won my fair share of fights and lost my fair share, it’s all a learning experience.”

But he explained that he wasn’t at great disadvantage due to the nature of a judo bout.

“When a fight does start there is a great deal of gripping, so it certainly levels up the playing field once I grip them and know where they are.”

Jake has a GoFundMe page to help him get to the Paralympics.

To donate, www.gofundme.com/f/Help-me-to-particpate-in-Judo-at-the-Paralympics.


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