Hannah handed crucial cash help

Hannah Lewis from North Shields who plays judo.
Hannah Lewis from North Shields who plays judo.

A YOUNG martial arts star in the making has received a vital cash award after flooring opponents across the globe.

Hannah Lewis, 17, is already a key member of the GB Judo Under-20 programme.

And the TyneMet College fighter is tipped to make a major impact on the senior circuit.

Hannah’s progress has been recognised by Sport Newcastle bosses impressed by her winning record.

And the organisation awarded her a grant to assist with international competition and entry costs in 2011.

“Hannah comes highly recommended by everyone who has worked with her and we’re delighted to help her with funding,” said Sport Newcastle chairman Alan Younger.

“She is making a big noise on the international judo scene and I know everyone at TyneMet is very proud of her achievements to date.”

Hannah benefits from sessions at The Parks Leisure Centre in North Shields and Tyne Boys’ Club in Tynemouth.

And in the last nine months she has been working with Nothumbria University’s strength and conditioning coach Joel Brannigan.

It was the former rugby ace who nominated Hannah for a Sport Newcastle award.

He said: “I have been working with Hannah since October and in that time she has never missed one of her three sessions a week.

“She is only 17 yet has been on the GB under-20 programme for some time and regularly fights seniors.

“I cannot express enough what a hard working, talented and professional young athlete Hannah is.

“I wish I had more like her. I am not someone who offers praise easily but when I come across truly ambitious and talented young sports people like Hannah I try to push them as far as I can.”

Hannah has enjoyed a fantastic start to 2011 after enjoying success on and off the judo floor.

Last month the North Shields-based star won the Sport Student of the Year prize at TyneMet’s annual end-of-year awards ceremony.

And the college’s director of learner services, Sam Haley, said: “Hannah joined us from one of our partner schools, Marden High.

“During her first year she has proved to be an exemplary student and manages to combine her studies with a tough training schedule.

“We are proud of her contribution to college life and of the success she is enjoying.”