Gold medal green beret Chris sets sight on SECOND Commonwealth title

Topic: People Storyline: People

Going for his SECOND judo gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in just over a month is Royal Marine Corporal Chris Sherrington.

The 38-year-old is the only athlete flying the flag for the Naval Service at the games, fighting back from injury to appear at his second Commonwealth event, after taking gold for Scotland in Glasgow eight years ago.

Born in Lancashire, now living in North Devon, but still representing Scotland, Chris has a string of international medals to his name from more than a decade in competitions around the globe in locations as varied as Budapest, Havana and Tashkent (Uzbekistan).

He represented Team GB at the 2012 Olympics but sadly wasn’t among the medal winners, only to triumph on the international stage two years later – famously wearing his green beret and gold medal as he celebrated victory in the over 100kg category.

“It’s a privilege to be able to compete at a second Commonwealth Games,” says Chris, who serves with the Commando Logistic Regiment based at Chivenor, near Barnstaple, in North Devon.

“Having come back from a double anterior cruciate ligament injury, it’s been a hard-fought process to get here but we made it to the Games and I’m honoured to have been given this opportunity.

“My focus now is to perform as best I can. Fingers crossed, all goes to plan!”

He believes his appearances in 2012 and 2014 – not to mention the years of training he put in – have laid solid foundations for Birmingham 2022.

“The ten years building up to these were incredibly tough and I sustained multiple injuries, all life and career-changing injuries but JudoScotland and SportScotland got me through the surgeries as quickly as possible.”

The process of recovering from those injuries to ‘get back on the mat’ helped Chris build up a sense of resilience – invaluable when undergoing anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation recently at the Navy’s dedicated Hasler centre in Plymouth.

“It was a hard slog but with support and the lessons learned through previous training I was able to return to duty – and then to competitive sports within nine and a half months,” says Chris. 

He believes being a Royal Marine makes him a better judoka – and being a judoka has made him a better Royal Marine.

“When you pass Royal Marines basic training, it changes you as a person. It makes you fitter, stronger, tougher, and more mentally robust. All these attributes work amazingly well when placed on the judo mats,” Chris explains.

“The improved discipline and focus allow Royal Marines to excel in this sport, I would recommend all service personnel give judo a try.”
Chris says earning the coveted green beret two decades ago “made me the man I am today”.

He continues: “I never thought walking through the gates of Lympstone to start basic training at 17 that it would lead me to the Olympics and two Commonwealth games.

“Without my Royal Marines training and the opportunities I’ve been given I wouldn’t have achieved half of this and I will forever be thankful for what my career has allowed me to achieve.”

It’s a privilege to be able to compete at a second Commonwealth Games.

Royal Marine Corporal Chris Sherrington