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Worcester's 'Mr Judo' grabs top honour with his sixth dan black belt
EDDIE Awford, known as Worcester’s ‘Mr Judo’, has reached the pinnacle of the sport by qualifying for the high grades section.
The 72-year-old, who still teaches judo in schools and colleges, has been awarded his sixth dan black belt.
Coming eight years after the award of his fifth dan, it elevates Awford into the upper echelons of the sport and is the latest honour in a glittering career.
He was presented with his ceremonial red and white belt by Kerrith Brown, chairman of The British Judo Association at Loughborough University.
“It’s a nice feeling. In all my life I never thought I would get this high,” said Awford, who lives in Battenhall Road.
“It was a treat for me and I am delighted. I have devoted my life to this sport and I have enjoyed every bit of it and I am still in it.”
He added: “It was supposed to be presented to me in Sheffield a few weeks ago but the snow came and I couldn’t get there so it was presented at the next board meeting.”
Awford, team manager of the British kata squad, has a wealth of experience and is currently in his third term of office as director of the British Judo Association.
A full-time professional sports coach since 1992, he is also chairman of the national governing body’s kata and self-defence commission and a senior examiner.
In addition, he coaches judo and teaches self-defence in schools and colleges across Worcestershire and Herefordshire as well as the whole of the UK and abroad.
Awford was introduced to judo during his teens while a junior champion at Worcester Swimming Club. He registered with Worcester Judo Club in 1959 and within three years gained his first black belt.