Countdown to the Olympics with Sophie Johnstone

SINCE my last column I’ve had another major blow as I’ve learned that I am to be cut from lottery funding.

In addition to this, any remaining Olympic Qualification events I attend will need to be self-funded, starting with the Samoa World Cup next week, which is going to cost around £1,600 alone.

This is followed by Amsterdam, and finally South Korea at the beginning of December, so it is a busy and expensive time coming up.

I am extremely disappointed to be cut from funding just nine months out from the Olympics, especially as it is what I have been training so hard for over the past 20 years. But, although it makes things difficult financially, there is no way I am giving up on my dream without a fight!

I have been busy writing numerous emails to people and places who may be able to help and I would like to once again appeal to any readers of this column who may be able to help, or know someone who can, to contact me at sophiejudo@hotmail.com

I have also set up a pledgie page at pledgie.com/campaigns/16175 where people can donate money through their paypal account – any donation gratefully received, no matter how big or small.

Unfortunately, an old knee problem kept me out of the Swedish Open at the weekend. The decision was made unanimously by myself, my coach and the physio that I needed to protect it to give myself the best possible chance of success in Samoa next week.

Samoa is going to be an interesting place to compete – just to get there will take 30 hours and three flights, via Abu Dhabi and Sydney.

It’s just a shame I will only be passing through the airports of these amazing places and not actually be able to see anything of them!

Never mind, at the moment I’ve got a job to do and that’s to qualify for the Olympic Games in London next year. Don’t count the days, make the days count!