Meet the caring judo ace from Stickney who’s in the black

Josh Hicks gets to grips with oppponent Georgina Grayson during a coaching session. Photo: John Aron.

By day, he’s a care support worker, looking after people with special educational needs, but at night, he loves throwing people around ‘on a mat.’

He’s also a youth worker in any spare time he has.

Josh Hicks is certainly a man of many talents...not least of which is judo.

He’s just secured a coveted ‘first dan’ black belt, the culmination of ten years of blood, sweat and a few tears.

And when Josh isn’t battling an opponent, he can be found coaching the next generation of judo stars at Horncastle Kibo Club.

As a coach, he works alongside Paul Dean who is also a black belt.

They are a successful ‘team’. An impressive haul of medals secured by club members during the last few months at competitions all over the country is testament to that.

Josh, who lives in Stickney, added to that collection himself by picking up two silvers to secure his black belt.

With judges looking on, he defeated two determined opponents.

Josh said: ”It was a brilliant feeling. It’s what I’ve worked so hard for. There have been a few setbacks like minor injuries but nothing serious.

“I‘ve come back from tournaments with scratches all over my face, so it has been a case of blood, sweat and tears. but it’s all been worth it.”

Josh is determined to win the next grade of black belt - a second dan. It is possible to go all the way to tenth dan, although very few fighters in this country have ever achieved that.

He’s only just started his day job as a care worker but says he loves it.

He also loves coaching, adding: “I’ve been doing it for about five years now.

“The club has been so supportive so it is good to put something back. Judo is a brilliant sport. I’d recommend it to anyone. Come down and give it a go.”

The club is something of a family affair as Josh’s mum, Wendy, is secretary and welfare officer.

The club meets at the Youth Centre off Jubilee Way from 6pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

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