Just over three years ago, Kimberley Renicks was one of the most celebrated figures in Scottish sport.

The judoka from Bellshill had just become the first Scottish athlete to win gold at Glasgow 2014 and when her older sister Louise emulated her feat less than an hour later, the sisters’ success became one of the stories of the Games.

How quickly things can change in the world of elite sport though. Recent times have seen Renicks plagued by injury and as a result, she no longer receives any funding and has lost her place in the Sportscotland Institute of which provides all manner of support to Scottish athletes.

She was 26 when she won gold at the Commonwealth Games but now, as she edges towards 30, she believes that those who hold the purse strings feel that she is too old to provide backing to, despite the fact that a number of judo medallists at Glasgow 2014 were in their thirties, including her sister.

Knowing that people have lost belief in her has been, admits Renicks, extremely tough to take. “It’s heart-breaking to think that people don’t believe in me,” she said. “I feel like I’ve still got a lot in me to give but it makes you doubt yourself. At the next Commonwealth Games, I’ll still only be 34 but I think that for girls, they see that as being the older generation and they want to concentrate on the younger generation.”

Renicks’ shoulder injuries also caused her to miss out on possible selection for Rio 2016, and that was the point when she seriously considered retirement. After much reflection though, and numerous chats with her sister, who is now also her personal coach, she decided to give things one last go and relocated to a new training group just outside of London.

Things are going well, although there have been ups and down as she continues to battle to get back to her best.

“This year has been pretty tough – in my competitions, I was getting into winning positions but I just wasn’t getting the wins,” she said. “I feel like this year has mainly about building myself back up and getting back to my best form. It’s definitely getting there though.”

Renicks remains as motivated as ever and she admits that physically, she feels stronger than she ever has.

The next few weeks are vitally important for Renicks, with a competition in the Netherlands quickly followed by the British trials at the start of December, which give her the potential to be reselected into the GB set-up.

She is confident in her ability but one challenge remains – the lack of finance behind her. Elite sport does not come cheap and Renicks admits that it is frustrating that she has to take that into her decision as to whether to continue to chase her dreams and try to fulfil the potential that she believes she has.

“If I had the finance behind me, I’d be telling everyone that I’d be keeping going for the next 6 years because I still feel strong,” she said.

“While 30 isn’t necessarily a retiring age, it is an age where you need to start thinking about your life ahead. I still love the sport though so I’m going to give it another 6 months to see how my results go and then that will be the big decision time for me.

“I just need somebody to believe in me and to back me because I’m confident that I can still do well.”