A childhood judo enthusiast who has gone on to run his own club has inspired his students by winning a silver medal at the recent Commonwealth Judo Championships.

Richard Hurst came second in the veterans, as the only senior from Cornwall to attend, and represented England.

It is the latest success for Richard, who took over Penrose Judo Club 12 years ago when it had nothing but a few mats.

In the intervening years he has taken it from small beginnings in Helston's Catholic Church Hall to a dedicated home in Wendron Street, transforming the former Atlantic Fishing Tackle shop thanks to years of fundraising and grants.

Now halfway through a ten-year lease, he runs it as Helston Community Martial Arts Centre. In that time he has refitted the kitchen, toilets and sports facilities, and is currently in the process of building disabled toilets and shower room. Work over the years has taken place thanks to a £10,000 Sport England grant, local Rotary club funding and community support, as well as Mr Hurst giving funds from his own pocket. 

His students are from across the spectrum of ages and abilities, with some of his members competitive players training at a national level.

He works with just as many, if not more, students with disabilities and additional needs, making the sport accessible to everyone.

Richard partners the Southerly Point Co-operative Multi-Academy Trust, helping pupils who don't engage with support, and only recently had children from six primary schools in the trust taking part in sessions.

He also lets other clubs use the facilities and is always open to other groups using the space for meetings, particularly during the daytime, with it lending itself to yoga, pilates and similar activities.

"There are lots of little clubs that don't really have the right facilities, or have got no facilities to train in.

"I rent the space out to them, at a lower cost than what they would otherwise pay in schools and sports hall, to make it affordable," he said.

Any clubs looking to take up the offer can call Richard on 07545 802315.