Joshua Hemsley, aged 22, from RAF Akrotiri Judo Club scooped the Sporting Achievement Award at the RAF Station’s first ever Awards Night.
On 15th November 2019 RAF Akrotiri held its inaugural Awards Night to recognise civilians, teachers, contractors, dependants and service personnel of all ranks with awards ranging from Fundraiser of the Year to the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Sporting Achievement award was awarded to the individual who has demonstrated the highest level of sporting prowess or made a significant contribution to their chosen sport through personal endeavour. He was presented his award by former Team GB Olympic Boxing Bronze Medallist Anthony Ogogo.
Joshua was recognised for his achievements within the sport of Judo. The Great Britain Adaptive Judo Squad member has represented the Station Club and GB in several competitions over the last year. Having obtained a gold medal in the -66kg category in the British Adaptive Judo Open Championships in 2019, he then went on to win a silver medal at the second European Intellectual Disability Championships in Cologne in October. He also managed to obtain his 1st Dan Black Belt on his first attempt in March 2019.
He said: “I am hugely motivated when it comes to participating in Judo. I enjoy the dynamic and challenging environment which I would describe as a physical game of chess. I enjoy participating and also enjoy coaching at RAF Akrotiri Judo Club.
“My ultimate goal would be to compete within the Paralympics if the Intellectual Disability (ID) category is accepted. I feel extremely proud to have been nominated for the Sporting Achievement Award and am grateful for the support that my Mum (my current coach) and Dad have given me over the years in addition to all the other coaches including Mr David Cooper, Mr and Mrs Ron Cleere, Mr Achilleas Georgiou and the GB Lead for Adaptive Judo, Mrs Kerry Tansey.”