Cyprus

How Is Judo Becoming One Of RAF Akrotiri's Favourite Sports?

Membership is booming with the judo club competing in competitions across Cyprus.

Judo has become one of RAF Akrotiri's most popular sports, with considerable growth in the past year and a half.

Every week, dozens of children - some as young as five - come to train at Akrotiri Judo Club.

The head coach is Julie Hemsley, a former Scottish champion and wife of an RAF officer.

"We started with nine children, and it's now flourished to having over 60 members," she said.

"It is literally a full-time job, but extremely rewarding."

Also instructing is her 21-year-old son Josh, a British adaptive Judo champion for the past three years.

Flying Officer Simba Chikosi: 'It's amazing to come here now and see how much it's transformed.'

Flying Officer Simba Chikosi, a member of the RAF Judo Team, says he has seen an incredible development from the first time he went to look at facilities three years ago.

"We actually couldn't do standing judo, we had to do just groundwork," he said.

"It's amazing to come here now, a couple of years later and see how much it's transformed".

Due to Akrotiri being a military community, members come and go all the time.

Eventually, Ms Hemsley will move on too, but with the sport becoming so popular, the club could continue to have a bright future.