South Shields Judo club is celebrating having one of its own representing Great Britain in the European Championships.
Nikki McDermott will head to London where she will take her place with the GB team to compete for her country in the sport, next moth.
The 22-year-old’s selection comes less than a year since she was crowned the returning World Champion in the under 52kg category in Cologne as a GB team member.
Nikki, who has special needs, was introduced to Judo, at the age of 10, as a way of helping her with the development of her motor skills.
Since then she has won a range of trophies and accolades. She is also a member of the GB special needs squad.
Coach Beth Foster said: “Nikki is part of the GB special needs squad and they have training twice a year, and because she is part of that and due to her results in competitions, she has been selected to represent the country.
It’s a fantastic achievement and shows, that having special needs, doesn’t stop you from succeeding.Beth Foster
“It’s a fantastic achievement and shows, that having special needs, doesn’t stop you from succeeding.
“Obviously we have to make allowances for Nikki, but in the main, she takes part in the training just like everyone else.
“She works extremely hard, and she is well supported by the club and its members who are all really pleased for her.
“It hasn’t been easy for her but she is very determined and the dedication and commitment she has shown is paying off.”
Beth added: “I think the way British Judo is being opened up to people who have a disability is fantastic. A few weeks ago I was officiating at a competition for those who were visually impaired. It was fantastic and these people are such an inspiration.”
Nikki is being helped on her trip to compete in the European Championships with a donation of £200 from the British Judo Northern Area towards the cost of taking part in the event.
South Shields Judo Club meets at Mortimer Community Centre in Reading Road, South Shields with a range of classes for all ages.
For information call 07725 111 056 or visit southshieldsjudoclub.co.uk/training-times/