Medals galore for Rushjudo aces at British Open Judo Championships

There were medals galore for Rushjudo at the GB Special Needs Championships
There were medals galore for Rushjudo at the GB Special Needs Championships

Judo players from all over Britain, Sweden, Holland and Norway were in action over the weekend at the British Open Judo Championships for people with learning disabilities.

The event was hosted at the national Paralympic sports centre, Stoke Mandeville stadium, with Berkhamsted-based Rushjudo having the highest entry of 18 players competing through the day.

In total, Rushjudo came away with four newly crowned British Champions as, in their first ever event, Michael McKinley and Tomas Hart both dominated their categories to take gold medals. They were joined by Harry Refsum and Christian Elford who also topped the podium in spectacular style.

Silver medals went to Graham Light, Danial Kidd and Allistair Milne, with bronzes going to Josh Fernandes, Roxy Simmons, Lynsey Mason, Chloe Turner, Stephen Peddar, Matthew Sayers, Paul Garnham, Callum Bowman, Simon James, Michael Stillwell and Paul Phillips.

Matthew Rush, the club’s lead coach for special needs judo, said: “This has been a fantastic day for our players. They have dedicated themselves to continually improve and this is the perfect reward for them.”

He added: “With this event being so close to us we were able to take a large crowd of volunteers and supporters which made the atmosphere even more special!”

Rushjudo runs classes every Tuesday evening for adults with learning disabilities and the club is about to start similar classes dedicated for children aged 5 to 16 years old.

If anyone is interested in learning more about this, please contact the club at or visit