Physical Education/PSHE KS2 & KS3: How Gemma Gibbons became an Olympic medal winner in judo

The story of how Gemma Gibbons became an Olympic medallist at the London 2012 Games.

She recalls key events and experiences from childhood that made her the athlete she is today.

As a child, Gemma had so much energy that her mum took her to judo from an early age.

She loved it straight away and explains that her mum was her biggest supporter.

With photos, animation and Olympic archive footage to illustrate her story, Gemma tells us that her biggest role model as a kid was Kate Howey, a famous British Judo star.

At 17, Gemma’s mother sadly died of cancer.

This massive loss motivated her to do something meaningful with her life and live it to the full.

Incredibly, Kate Howey became Gemma’s trainer and together they worked hard to ensure that Gemma trumped most of the competition.

Gemma’s message to children is, "I never thought I’d get this far with my sport and I feel very lucky. Great role models help, so it’s really important to have people that inspire you in your life.”

This clip is from the series Olympic Spark: Fire Up Your Future.

Teacher Notes

Gemma talks about the support she received from her mum who sadly died of cancer when Gemma was 17. We see Gemma mouthing ‘I love you mum’ as she triumphs and goes through to the final.

Students could discuss how Gemma wanted to share her success with her mum - who would students share their successes with, and how could they do this? Why is this shared celebration so important?

Students could talk about the importance of role models and consider what makes a good role model.

They could share their own role models and reasons why they admire this person.

Students could write a letter to a role model, talking about why they admire them and pose the questions they would like to ask.

Where possible, they could post the letters to their actual role models.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching Physical Education and PSHE at KS2 and KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and and 2nd, 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland.

More from Olympic Spark: Fire Up Your Future

How Carl Hester became an Olympic gold medallist in dressage
How Christine Ohuruogu became a top athlete
How Etienne Stott was inspired to become a top canoeist
How Katherine Grainger was inspired to become an Olympic rower
How Sam Oldham was inspired to become an Olympic gymnast
How Sam Oldham was inspired to become an Olympic gymnast