We would like to celebrate the “judo heroes” currently working and volunteering across the country during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

There are a number of fantastic initiatives being carried out throughout Great Britain and we would like to celebrate the work of our members currently involved in these projects. Each week we will profile a range of work from our “judo heroes”.

If you know of a member who is currently working within their local community, fundraising or going above and beyond to help those isolated, please nominate them to become one of our “Judo Heroes” whereby we will profile their work. We will select three heroes each week as part of a regular feature.

Dermot Heslop – Volunteer Work

A Development Officer within the BJA, Dermot was encouraged by the Association and Sport England to continue working from home. When York City Council appealed for volunteers in his local area, Dermot showed no hesitation in offering his service.

“The Senior Management of the British Judo have actively encouraged all staff to offer their services as volunteers regardless of whether they have been ‘Furloughed’ or working full time from home” Heslop explained.

‘Taking this into consideration it was an easy decision to volunteer for York City Council to help those who are vulnerable in my local area’. 

An essential part of their front line week day team, he can be found their most days dropping off emergency food parcels to those most in need, picking up prescriptions, completing welfare checks and shopping for those who are isolating at home.

Acomb Community Hub Manager Rachel Shield was full of praise for Dermot: “He has been an absolute star – always willing to pop in to help someone out event at short notice. We would be lost without him!”

Dr Karen Briggs – Delivering Easter Eggs

IJF Hall of Famer Dr Karen Briggs and her family have been supporting elderly and vulnerable people in East Yorkshire during the coronavirus pandemic before delivering over 100 Easter eggs door to door over the Easter weekend.

Dr Briggs has been helping out fellow residents in Paull with husband Peter Inman, daughter Jade and son Harry.

Mr Inman said the kind gestures had been started by Jade, who distributed notes to people in the village offering help with shopping, dog-walking or even just some company.

She has had many calls and has been delivering groceries and fish chips on a regular basis, especially on Good Friday,” he said.

It is nice to see the younger generation of the village getting involved to help people in need during the horrendous times of the pandemic, which has affected everybody.

Jade, who was born in Paull, even received a letter of thanks from local MP Graham Stuart for her work.

It was then that the family had the idea to deliver over 100 Easter eggs to the other village residents with a note saying: “We hope this brings a smile to your day.

La Mare Family – Ran 50km each in 24 hours

England Judo athlete Harry La Mare, his brother Jack La Mare and Father Noah Le Mare were inspired from watching the Barkley Marathon documentary (The Barkley Marathon is an 100+ mile run in America – available to watch on Amazon Prime) recently and as a last minute decision, decided upon their crazy challenge – with no training – running 50km in 24 hours! There was no prior planning involved!

The plan initially was for Harry and Jack to complete the challenge in memory of Chris Allen and in support of all of the heroes of the NHS. They wanted to do something to help in any way possible. Inspired by his son’s completing the challenge on 16th April, Father Noah then completed his own version of the challenge the following day.

Harry, 17, finished the run with no training, in six and a half hours. ⁣⁣⁣He started at midnight, then had a break and slept at 4:00am. He started up again at 9:30am. Once Harry finished his 50km, he also went and helped his brother for the last 8 km of his challenge, who crossed the finish line after eleven and a half hours.

The family have smashed their initial fundraising target of £1,800 but that shouldn’t stop you from supporting their challenge.

You can donate now to support the La Mare family for their challenge at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/50kmin24hours