Q&A with Ben Fletcher

Questions and answer session with Olympic judoka, Ben Fletcher.

We recently announced our partnership with Bath based Olympian (and quite possibly Bath Pizza Co's number one fan), Ben Fletcher.

Here we catch up with Ben in a Q&A session to learn more about the Judo world, his diet, nutrition and love for pizza.

Bath Pizza Co: Ben, we’re really excited to be partnering with you. How did you first get into Judo?

Ben Fletcher: My family is a really judo oriented: my mum and dad, three older half brothers and older sister have all done the sport so I just followed suit and loved it just like they all did.

Bath Pizza Co: What are your ambitions over the next 2 to 3 years?

Ben Fletcher: My long term ambition is to win the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. In the meantime I just want to try and improve everyday and make small steps to making my long term goal of winning in Tokyo.

Bath Pizza Co: We’d love to know more about your training routine, nutrition and diet as a professional athlete. What does a typical day look like for you?

Ben Fletcher: My usual days training regime is 2 to 3 times a day, 5 days a week. The training will depend on the time of year and proximity to a major events. We as judo players take part in a variety of different types of training but mainly spend a lot of the time on the judo tatami tinkering with techniques, sparring and then spend a lot of time in the gym or on the running track working on specific areas of strength and conditioning relevant to what we need in competition.

Nutrition becomes really important then because as I say, as a judo athlete I train a lot and need really good quality food for both the energy to train but then also to recover the best I can. I take in about 5,000 calories a day over 5 or 6 meals but have to make sure that the calories I take in are really high quality sources of protein, carbohydrate and fat and also in the right levels of each too.

Bath Pizza Co: What is it like training at the University of Bath?

Ben Fletcher: I love training at the University of Bath, everything at the university is designed for performance! The facilities are fantastic, the coaching is of the highest level and the atmosphere of a multi-sport environment is really nice as you get to spend time and rub shoulders with athletes from a really wide range of sports, who are usually right at the top of their chosen sport. It really is a pleasure and honour to training at the University of Bath.

Bath Pizza Co: What does it take to make it to the top in the Judo world?

Ben Fletcher: It takes years of dedication, blood, sweat and tears. You really have to work day in day out for years to try and make it to the top in judo; you have to make everything else in your life revolve around judo which is difficult. But that also is the appeal for me and I know it is for many other athletes. It's really hard, but that’s also what makes it so sweet when you get to the top or start winning at the top level.

Bath Pizza Co: What’s the best way to get into Judo if you’ve never stepped foot on the mats before?

Ben Fletcher: Just to find your local club. For children it's quite easy, there are a lot of schools now which allow the children to learn or try judo at school. But if this isn't an option most towns will have a local judo club, so find out where your local club is and give it a go, i'm sure you will love it!

Bath Pizza Co: We know you’re a big Bath Pizza Co fan; where does our wood fired pizza fit into your professional diet?

Ben Fletcher: You are right I love a Bath Pizza Co pizza, I have one of your pizzas as a treat, it's not something I eat everyday. Saying that though, as pizzas go they have to be one of the healthiest pizzas around with half the calories of most chain pizza companies and lots of locally sourced ingredients which not only are better for you and the planet, they make the pizzas taste amazing.

Bath Pizza Co: We’re looking forward to getting you in the kitchen and learning to throw some dough in the next few months. Do you have a go-to favourite pizza at Bath Pizza Co?

Ben Fletcher: I like most of the pizzas I have to say but my personal favourite is the Tunley Farm Chicken and Pesto!

Bath Pizza Co: Cheers Ben, we’re looking forward to our Judo session with you in the near future!