The 18-year-old WITT student said she started the sport before she turned five and it’s been a major part of her whole life.
“I loved it straight away,” the WITT Sports Academy athlete said.
“It was originally for fitness and for self defence because I was bullied a lot during my school years.”
She said judo was a way to boost her confidence during those times.
While overcoming those bullies, Sydnee says the sport started to get more serious and started to compete at higher levels, which involved international travel.
“It’s been my whole life. I have competed internationally at high level events. I’ve been to Hong Kong and Macau [south of China].”
She competed in four competitions when she was over there and won a medal in each event.
Sydnee then competed in Perth and started to get noticed internationally.
“I won against someone who was in the top 40 in the world and that put me onto the world ranking list,” she said.
Those events included coming first and third in the Hong Kong Asian Cup and first and seventh at the Perth Cadet Oceania Open events all in 2019.
Sydnee is now in the top 80 senior women and 27th junior internationally.
Now part of the WITT Sports Academy, established at the end of last year, she is studying New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4).
“WITT Sports Academy has already helped me out so much with getting me on a path to help improve and get strong in my judo.
“I believe it’s important to have a good balance with study and sport because this way you can work the body and the brain,” she said.
The Academy is for school-leavers who are wanting to study at a tertiary level whilst maintaining their top-performing athlete status.
It supports emerging and high-performance athletes to be their best, helping them to success in their academic and sporting pursuits.
Services to these athletes include individual programme planning, testing and prescription in areas such as exercise, physiology, biomechanics and strength and conditioning.
Academy staff work with athletes, their coaches and mentors to provide a complete support through training and competition.