Commonwealth call-up

Tom Lish, right, with Rush Judo coach Laurie Rush
Tom Lish, right, with Rush Judo coach Laurie Rush

A Berkhmasted fighter has been selected for the England team for the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games taking place in the exotic location of Nassau in the Bahamas.

Rush Judo, based in Berkhamsted, is celebrating the continued success of their competition squad in a weekend that started with Tom Lish being selected to represent England for the sixth Commonwealth Youth Games.

Lish, who is ranked number one in the country in the U90kg Cadet category, has been unbeaten in this year’s British Judo ranking events and this achievement has earned a prestigious place in the England side.

Lish was overjoyed with his selection and said: “I’m delighted and honoured to have been chosen to represent England at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

“I have worked hard for this selection but could not have achieved it without the support of my judo coaches and especially Laurie Rush.”

English judoka are among 74 young athletes, aged between 14-18, to have been selected to represent Team England at this year’s event in the Bahamas.

The event will provide young athletes with a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable experience of a multi-sport competition to support their development and this will be the first time it has included judo as one of the sports.

The weekend also saw eight of Rush Judo’s competition squad represent the Northern Home Counties at the National Team Championships held in Gillingham, Kent.

The contest covers seven areas – Beds, Berks, Bucks, Essex, Herts, Middx and Oxon – so selection is an big achievement. The Rush squad were proud to support each other throughout the extremely long day where Olympians Ashley MacKenzie and Colin Oates were also competing.

Rush’s Evie Halvey Jacobs went unbeaten and was an intrinsic part of the Pre-Cadet girls’ team which won a bronze medal.

Lewis Fryer and Gergo Berendi were part of the seven-strong Pre-Cadet boys’ team which earned a silver medal, narrowly losing to the London team.

Hannah Niven and Emily Niven (Cadet girls’ team) took a podium place for a bronze medal with Hannah also claiming a gold with the senior squad.

Haydn Williams fought at a higher weight group and, with Michael Fryer and Lish, were a strong part of the Cadet boys’ team. The Rush trio had fantastic ippon wins and were unlucky not to progress to the semi-finals but were proud of their performances.

Coach Laurie Rush was impressed with the determination and team spirit of the Rush fighters and added: “It was great to have so many Rush national players in the team – they deserved their selection and were all an integral part of their teams.”

Rush Judo have a permanent dojo at Ashlyns, Berkhamsted, and run classes for all abilities and ages.