A RISING judo star who trains in Kendal has been selected to compete in the Commonwealth Championships in September.

Esmee Holgate, 13, of High Bentham, who is already a junior international, will travel with the England squad to the championships in Walsall in September.

“She’s just come back from Holland where she won a bronze medal for England from a field of 28 in the under-16’s age group from different countries – and she’s only 13," said her mother Cherry.

"She did extremely well.”

Esmee, who attends QES School in Kirby Lonsdale, has been competing in judo competitions since she was eight, training every night during the week and competing most weekends.

She trains at Craven Judo Academy in Kendal throughout the week, and also in Liverpool and Bacup on a weekly basis.

“Esmee is so hooked on the sport - she came home one day and told us that she found some of the girls in her age group are physically developing quicker than her, so now she has chosen to do a weekly session with a local weight trainer to build her up," said Mrs Holgate.

“She fell into karate after attending a Kendal taster session and just got hooked.

“She doesn’t have any time outside of school, people at school don’t really know exactly what she does – she’s not a bragger by any means.

“She still won eight school academic achievement awards at the end of this year, despite all the class time she missed. I don’t know how she does it.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Esmee can call her mother Cherry on 07759 019232.