‘We’re so proud of her and she’s an inspiration to everyone’ - that’s how family and members of Horncastle’s Kibo Judo Club describe Georgina Grayson.
The 24-year was already the first female in the UK with Down’s Syndrome to secure a brown belt.
Now, she has won her first ever tournament she has competed in, and is on course to secure a coveted black belt - the highest grade possible.
Georgina never misses a session at the Kibo Club and has been ‘fighting’ since the age of four.
She was inspired to take up the sport by elder siblings Oliver and Catherine...but has left them well behind.
At first, mum Sarah and dad Kevin were concerned Georgina would struggle to cope with the physicality of judo - because of her condition.
Now, they admit it has transformed her life.
Sarah said “Georgina lives for judo, and we are so pleased and so proud of what she has achieved.
“To win her first competition is remarkable.
“She was nervous although I was more nervous than she was, especially when she lost her first fight.
“But she came back and won her next four to take the gold medal.
“It just shows how determined she is.
“She loves taking on any challenge. She is very confident and very happy and that’s down to judo.”
Wendy Hicks, the Welfare Officer at the Kibo Club, said Georgina’s success was an example to everyone.
She added: “The club is so proud of what she’s done. She turns up every week and never complains. She’s very positive and very brave - an inspiration to everyone.”
Wendy’s son, Josh - a black belt himself - is one of Georgina’s coaches, alongside Paul Dean.
He said: “She is a pleasure to coach and she is so dedicated and so determined. You can’t fault her - not that I would because she’d probably beat me up!”
Georgina’s mum and sister were at the recent competition in London to cheer her on.
Sarah added: “Georgina has wanted to take part in a competition for a long time. We thought it would be good experience, so to win was a bonus.
“When she lost her first fight, we wondered what would happen. She was disappointed but we needn’t have worried. It just made her more determined.
“To see her with the gold medal...there were celebrations and a few tears.“It was amazing and whatever else happens, it was a day we- and she - will never forget.”