• Phil Packer

Olympian, World & European Championship medallist, Karen Roberts Castle OLY, joins the BRIT family

We are delighted that Karen has joined our BRIT Ambassador family and is championing the BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK.


Karen represented Great Britain at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, is a World and European Championships medallist and double National Champion. Karen was also the youngest ever Junior World Champion. She is now Head of Performance Operations at the British Judo Association.

Karen Roberts Castle OLY - Olympian, World and European Championship medallist & National Champion

“As a former student and elite athlete, and through my work at the British Judo Association, I know there has been an increase in mental health challenges that many young adults, students and athletes face in their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives in some way, however it has compounded those with existing mental health and we must do more now to support students and young adults in order to avoid them facing long-term mental health difficulties.

We must find innovative ways support young adult mental health, therefore it’s great to see that BRIT are forging partnerships and special relationships across the education, sport and charity sectors to have a positive UK-wide impact on young adult and student mental health and fitness.

I am delighted that BRIT are delivering the annual BRIT Challenge as a feelgood February fundraiser for every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage student and staff participation. I’m thrilled to see that the BRIT Challenge has been designed to be inclusive, enabling students and staff of all abilities to be able to take part in many different ways.


It’s a pleasure to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family to promote the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. I urge my fellow Olympians, Paralympians and Elite Athletes, from all disciplines, to join the BRIT Ambassador family and assist in encouraging universities, colleges and students to take part in the annual BRIT Challenge.


I would be delighted to support and encourage students and staff at Brunel University London and The Open University as they take on their BRIT Challenge”.


Karen Roberts Castle OLY

Olympian, World and European Championship medallist and National Champion

Karen Roberts Castle OLY

Karen graduated from Brunel University of London in 2001, with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Material Science and Engineering. In 2011, Karen studied with The Open University to gain a Certificate in Health and Social Care and in 2017, completed a World Class Mentoring Programme with Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School.


Between 2004 and 2007, Karen was Assistant Director of BCAST at Brunel University London, where she supported the Director within the Metallurgical Research Centre.


Karen was an international Judoka (Judo) athlete for 14 years.


Karen won gold in Buenos Aires at the 1992 World Junior Championships and became the youngest ever Junior World Champion. That same year, she won bronze at the Junior European Championships in Jerusalem and then in 1994, won gold at the European Junior Championships in Lisbon.


In 1999, Karen won bronze at the World Championships in Birmingham. That same year, she won gold at the ASKO World Tournament Leonding and silver at the FISU Universiade in Palma de Mallorca. A year later, Karen won silver at the World University Championships in Malaga.


Karen represented Great Britain at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, and became Commonwealth Games Champion at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.


Karen has worked for the British Judo Association (BJA) for almost 15 years. Between 2007 and 2013, Karen was Performance Operations Manager, between 2013 and 2019, Projects Manager and since 2019, she has been Head of Performance Operations. Additionally, between 2018 and 2019, Karen was a Performance Support Mentor with the English Institute of Sport.


To find out more about British Judo, please visit the British Judo Association website.


You can follow Karen on Instagram.