HARD work is paying off for members of Beach Judo Club.

Joshua Burns and clubmate Tommy Alberts finally won their first senior medals at the British Championships in Sheffield.

And with Harrison Burns also winning his first medal at the National Cadet Championships the previous week, it has been a good couple of weeks for the Blackburn club - and Joe Burns, head coach, club founder and dad to Joshua and Harrison, could not be any prouder.

Beach Judo Club, based at Westbury Gardens, Shadsworth is one of the smallest clubs around but Burns Senior said they are more than happy to punch above their weight.

“We never take more than three or four players but we always come away with two or three medals,” said Burns who formed the club back in 1996. “So we are definitely punching above our weight but we like it that way.”

At the British Senior Championships, Joshua Burns and Alberts, both aged 24, competed in the same over 100kg class and had to fight against each other.

“It was tough watching that because while Josh is my son, they are both my players so I just sat in the middle and encouraged both of them.”

Burns, a third dan black belt and a five-time British junior champion, won four of his five fights to pick up a silver medal while Alberts won a bronze medal after he won three of his five contests.

“It was great to see both lads earn their first senior national medals,” said Burns. “Good things come to those who wait.”

Young Ashton Lee also took part but was drawn in a very tough pool of talented fighters and went on to win one fight.

“He fought out of his skin and gave us his all,” added Burns. “He was in a tough pool and it happens that was sometimes.

“But he left everything on the mat. Unfortunately there was no medal for Ash but he will gain loads of experience from it.”

Henry Wakes was by far the busiest fighter in Sheffield with the 19-year-old competing in no fewer than 19 contests.

Wakes, who is a Beach Judo Club member but is now based at Camberley Judo Club in Surrey, won bronze medals in both the junior and senior categories competing at -66kg.

“Henry competed in the juniors on the first day and came back and competed in the seniors the next and won a bronze medal in both. It was an incredible effort, especially in the seniors where he he has moved up a weight division.

“To fight 19 times over the weekend is some going. I think he definitely earned a day off!”

Burns Snr was also delighted to see his youngest son Harrison win a bronze medal at the Cadet Championships.

But it wasn’t to be for Chanel McCullion who missed out but Burns is expected big things from the 15-year-old.

“I was thrilled for Harrison to win his medal,” said Burns. “He wants to follow in the footsteps of his older brothers so winning bronze was a big thing for him.

“As for Chanel, she was unsuccessful this time but it was a good experience for her. But watch this space, this is one girl which is heading for the top.”

As well as Beach Judo Club, Burns has set up Club 62 Judo Club which is based at Feniscliffe Church Hall on Feniscliffe Drive with son Nathon who is currently competing for Ireland in an attempt to reach the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

For details, contact Joe on 07922 649403 or josephburns49@gmail.com