A Battle-based judo club is proudly laying claim to a pair of European champions.
Westerleigh Judokwai, which is based at Claverham Community College, boasts two gold medallists from the Special Olympics European Games.
Thomas Farley, a 17-year-old from Peasmarsh, and his Westerleigh team-mate Holly Tadman were part of the GB team of athletes who competed in Antwerp, Belgium.
Farley said it was a far from easy competition, as you would expect given its stature. He had four fights on the day of his medal win and actually lost the first of them.
The Sussex Coast College Hastings student wasn’t despondent, however, and refocused to win his subsequent three fights, thereby securing the gold medal.
Tadman had won her gold medal the day before Farley so he was under a lot of pressure to clinch another victory for his country and repeat the feat of his Westerleigh colleague.
Farley would like to thank Westerleigh Judokwai and GB team coach Paul Everest for the support and training to help him reach his goal of being a European champion.
He would also like to thank GB coach Jo Imrie, and Westerleigh coaches Debbie Sands, Michael ‘Larry’ Forrow, his brother James Farley and his dad Mark Farley, all of whom have helped with his training.
Thomas Farley and his younger brother Harry Farley, a 16-year-old who is also from Peasmarsh and a Rye Studio School student, have been selected to represent the GB judo team at the Special Olympics World Games 2015 in Los Angeles next July/August.
Both Thomas and Harry would like to return from the United States as world champions, and follow the success of their older brother, James, who won gold medals at the 2003 World Games in Dublin and at the 2006 World Invitational Games in China.