Judo ace Kathleen is pride of her village

Kathleen Inglis. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Kathleen Inglis. Picture: Gordon Fraser

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With a growing tally of titles and medals to her name, it’s easy to see how Wallyford’s Kathleen Inglis gets her kicks.

The 28-year-old has been the pride of the East Lothian village since returning from the recent Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles with a bronze medal for judo.

There was more cause for celebration at the weekend, when Kathleen battled her way to a second bronze in the British Championships held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.

She has now capped her successful season by being selected for the British Special Needs Judo Squad.

As well as autism, Kathleen has been diagnosed with dyspraxia, a life-long condition which has impacted on her learning abilities.

She first took up judo while attending Lugton School in Dalkeith – now called Saltersgate – and soon qualified as a red belt.

After leaving school, she had a break from the sport before discovering the East of Scotland Special Need Group at Sighthill and Jidel Judo Livingston, where she is now working towards her black belt.

Along with her big brothers Andrew and Calum, parents Carol and Peter are overwhelmed by her achievements and delighted she persevered. “You would think they had given her the world, when she received her medal at the Special Olympics,” said Carol, from the family home in Weymss Gardens.

“She waved to everyone in the crowd and her smile lit up the podium.

“Even if she had not won a medal she would have been happy because that’s the way she always is. She is a very happy person.”

This week, the Wallyford Memories group presented Kathleen with flowers, a bracelet and a framed print to acknowledge her status as a “true champion”.