Golden year for young South Shields judo fighter

Judo star Daniel Thompson training with Kokodokwai Judo Club coach Jimmy Conroy.
Judo star Daniel Thompson training with Kokodokwai Judo Club coach Jimmy Conroy.

A ‘fitness mad’ youngster has thrown down the gauntlet to his judo rivals with a series of wins in national competitions.

The last year has seen ten-year-old Daniel Thompson scoop gold at the British Judo Council Newcastle championship, the Dublin Open and the Bupa Open in Glasgow.

He also won gold at the British Judo Council Open Nationals – along with a range of silver and bronze awards.

The youngster from Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, South Shields, has been training twice a week at the Kodokwai Judo Club, in Commercial Road, South Shields, under coach Jimmy Conroy since he was seven years old.

The keen sportsman has travelled far and wide to competitions.

Proud dad Lee Thompson, said he hopes the people will get behind Daniel and sponsor him to continue competing in places further afield.

Judo star Daniel Thompson with his trophy haul and sister Megan.

Judo star Daniel Thompson with his trophy haul and sister Megan.

He said: “We are really proud of him. Daniel started judo because we need something to occupy him and keep him busy after school. He is fitness mad, so we suggested judo, as it is not as aggressive as boxing.

“I suggested it to him as I did it for a little bit when I was younger. He started doing more and more competitions competing against kids aged 10 and 11 from all over the country.

“Now we are looking for sponsors so we can go further afield to compete.”

His sister Megan, seven, also does judo. Next year Daniel hopes to take part in a range of competitions including The Ultimate Open in Edinburgh in February, the British Schools Championships in April and the Venray International in Holland in June.

Judo star Daniel Thompson with his trophy haul.

Judo star Daniel Thompson with his trophy haul.

Coach Mr Conroy,51, said: “Daniel is very dedicated. We are very proud of him and he has done really well. He just wants to compete all the time and would train every night if we gave him the chance.

“He has a lot of natural ability and works hard. I have spoken to Daniel’s dad about next year where we need to look at entering him into bigger competitions. As he gets older, he will continue to step up and compete at national level.

“He is one for the future.”

To contact the Kodokwai Judo Club, call 07860 922 686.