YEAR seven boys are swapping balancing beams for judo mats as a Kendal school aims to improve students’ physical fitness.

The idea from Kirkbie Kendal School head of PE, Dean Barker, will see the martial art introduced in favour of gymnastics for eight weeks.

The youngsters will be taught by international coach Mike Liptrot at the town’s renowned judo facilities, the Dojo, next to the school.

Mr Barker said the plan had been in the making for 18 months and judo was added to the National Curriculum to coincide with the 2012 Olympics. It is hoped the school could form a judo team to compete at the National Schools Championships.