Yate teenager Rio is ready to take on the world
A TEENAGER from Yate is about to take part in a martial arts world championship.
Rio Patterson will compete in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Junior World Championships in Wolverhampton in July.
The 14-year-old pupil at Brimsham Green School, above, already has a string of titles to his name. He holds two Welsh Open titles – one for the juveniles and one for the juniors – for 2019, a European title for 2018, plus a British Open and a British National Title for 2019.
Rio is currently ranked 10th in the UK in the junior section and is already competing in the juvenile section, which is usually for ages 16 to 18. He trains under coaches Pedro Bessa and Jason McCawley at Sweat Box gym in Bedminster, Bristol. He had hoped to compete in the World Championships last year but wasn’t able to due to injury.
Rio said: “I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because it keeps me fit and I learn lots of new skills. It is also a very disciplined sport.”
His mum, Emma, said: “Rio wanted to do something fit and active. He chose Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because it’s a discipline and there’s no striking involved. He wants to join the police force and is a police cadet at Speedwell. One day he’s hoping to be able to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the police force.”
Rio currently trains four days a week. His dad helps with his strength and conditioning at the gym for five hours a week. Taking part in all the competitions improves his rankings, which can lead to sponsorship and opens doors to other competitions.
Rio Patterson in competition
Emma said: “It is very busy and very full-on. My husband takes him to and from training because I work shifts. Our daughter, who’s 12, comes to every competition to support her brother, and my dad comes.
“We are all immensely proud of Rio. He’s a really good kid – he’s been mentoring a young girl at Jiu Jitsu who has previously been bullied.”
In return Rio goes to all his sister’s netball matches and takes her through her fitness routine at the gym.
Rio is currently sponsored by Astra Security based in Yate, after Emma went into the firm’s office and asked them if they could help. They pay for an outfit for Rio’s competitions, known as a Gi, travel expenses and competition fees.
Rio said: “My ambitions for this year are to continue my role as a police cadet, as I really want to make a difference in the community, and to continue to train hard and stay focused in my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as I am hoping to also compete abroad this year.”