How an Olympic Judoka Supports his Tokyo 2020 Dreams Through Gardening | Day Jobs

How an Olympic Judoka Supports his Tokyo 2020 Dreams Through Gardening | Day Jobs

HORTICULTURALIST) It is quite full-on,
my training. In judo, you can’t
just have one strength, you have got to be
very good across the board, because it is so competitive
that you will be found out. I have to work to fund
my Olympic dream. I work as a horticulturalist
at my parents’ garden centre. My name is Ben Fletcher and I represented Team GB
for judo at the Rio Olympics. (BATH, ENGLAND) There is a lot
to love about judo. You need to be fit,
you need to be strong. Technically, you need to be
good, and tactically as well. If you are not being
challenged and pushed, you are not going
to be improving. A typical week of training
for me is five days a week,
two or three times a day. Sometimes I will
have ground work. Other days I will have
a technical session and also there is
finer elements, so you will see me tinkering
with technique with my coach. Thumb down. You have
to attack his head first. Before you roll. This head is a little… OK. And then we spar all the time. Obviously, you need to be
physically strong as well, so I spend a lot of time in
the gym pumping weights. Usually I have weights around
one o’clock in the afternoon. I need to be
a reasonably good runner, because if you’ve had
a really tough fight and your lactic
is really, really high you then need to be able
to flush your system and try and recover from that. On a Friday,
obviously I am training, and then getting straight back
to my house in Bath as fast as I can,
because on the weekends I work as a horticulturalist
at my parents’ garden centre. Bath to Wokingham
is a drive down the motorway, so I have to be
very mindful of my time. I will probably be
leaving Bath at the earliest at five o’clock in the
afternoon, usually later. Obviously it can be
very tiring. I have just had
a full week’s training where most people
would be resting all weekend, but I don’t have
that luxury unfortunately. (WOKINGHAM, ENGLAND) (SATURDAY) Yes, it is tiring. I have to work to fund
my Olympic dream. There is a lot of different
expenses I have to pay for. Getting to tournaments,
accommodation, the flights, but also, it sounds funny, but food is a massive part
of what I do. I have to eat
the best I possibly can, eating a lot, five, six times
a day sometimes. And I can’t just eat anything. I can’t just go to a fast-food
restaurant, so it’s not cheap. I start work around
about half eight, nine o’clock
on a Saturday morning. Good morning, son, nice to get
here on time for a change. – Sorry, Dad.
– Sort the bacopa out. That has to be filled up. We want the hanging baskets
from down the bottom onto here. More bush lobelia and then we got peat out in the
compound to do. There is vegetable compost… A day at the garden centre, there’s a host of different
jobs I could be doing which are very different to
when I am on the mat at judo. These are the hostas
I was talking about. I could be helping customers, helping stack shelves
or doing deliveries, even just manual labour which I get roped into
quite a lot. It’s one of the reasons
why I like it, because there is
so much variation. Working for Mum and Dad
is quite normal for me. I have always done it, I don’t know
anything different. For other people,
it might be a little strange or it might pull on the
relationship a little bit but for us we are quite good
at managing that. Ben does work hard
most of the time, but a few times we have
caught him in the office, feet up, reading the paper, but
he kind of gets that from Dad. Having Ben here
is a great asset to us, but we know his focus right now is actually on getting
to the next Olympics and maybe the one after that. When he started out
as a judo player, there was never anything
that ever would have entered our heads. There was my little boy,
now on an Olympic mat, well, I was just
all goose pimples. (RIO 2016) My experience of the stadium was just… I was absolutely buzzing. A 10,000-seater stadium,
absolutely packed. I was so excited just
to get out there and fight. I started the fight off well, but then I got caught
later on in the fight. Unfortunately, judo
is quite an explosive sport. One mistake and
you’re out of there. – Where is it?
– Where is your medal? I can’t see them,
there’s so many. – Shut up!
– A-ha! Junior World medal. – There it is.
– That should be up there. There is a surreal feeling to be in an Olympic stadium,
watching your brother. The whole time in your head, you’re training for the
Olympics, qualifying for the Olympics,
and then to be there… Because we were both involved
in judo at a young age and both carried it on
into senior level, you understand exactly
how much hard work has gone into that
to get to that point. It was just like…proud. I think that’s… Once he has finished his judo, we want him to take over
the business for us, and it is something I know
he really would like to do, but right now his focus is obviously on getting to
the next Olympics, and whatever we can do to help
him, that’s what we will do
to help him. Right, what shall we
go with first? Sausage? So, it has been a very long
week. The best way I find to relax
is get a couple of mates over and have a little barbecue if
the weather is good enough. If you drop any sausages,
mate… Oh, oh! Ready? I have got big hopes
for the Tokyo 2020 Games. I am gradually increasing
my world ranking. I believe I am getting better
all the time. I am working the best
every day to try and get there.

Comments (15)

  1. Full grown man.
    And dad still riding him.

    Good stuff! ?

  2. Un país como GB no apoya a sus atletas con una beca para aminorar los gastos durante sus competencias??

  3. "You can't just eat anything" – eats white toast. 😀

  4. Do you add subtitles to video turkish?

  5. Hello from the Czech Republic,

    thank you very much for many Olympic fans for the inclusion of complete videos from various olympic games. You will continue, please.

    Please of these records from the history:
    Opening Ceremony and the Hockey Tournament of the Century from Nagano 1998.

    Thank you for your precious time
    Beautiful New Year 2018

  6. why is not arm wrestling on olympics


  8. Osu from south korea.

  9. Um…Not that big of a struggle at all. Basically his parents, not his work, funds his Olympic dream. I mean it showed he can show up late to work. And obviously he's not paying rent. He better get some endorsement deals after the Olympics to pay them back. Otherwise he's just a mooching manchild, which it looks like.

  10. Very impressive and inspirational video. I used to practice myself under the expert guidance of the great Kisaburo Watanabe (he seemed to hold all the cards) at the Budokwai in London during the 60s, so I am fully aware of the necessity for eating the right foods to sustain one's physical body during training. I have to say that eating white bread would not be much of a help to your energy diet and I am surprised that some people still eat the stuff. Surely genuine brown wholemeal bread (there are lots of varieties) would be a bit of an enhancement for you. It even tastes nice toasted!

  11. He's Irish now apparently.

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