BBC Unsung Hero: Judo coach Dave Dunsford wins London award

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Sidcup judo coach wins London award

BBC London's Sports Unsung Hero award has been won by Dave Dunsford, a judo coach from Sidcup.

The 51-year-old runs a club in the local area, as well as being a member of the London area committee and refereeing nationally.

"I'm lucky enough to coach and teach a sport that I have grown up with and loved for years," the 51-year-old told BBC London 94.9.

"I do the sport because of the youngsters and the reaction from them."

Dunsford, who has also been responsible for managing the Bexley judo team for the annual London Youth Games for the past decade, runs sessions on two days a week.

And he is especially proud of his work with young and aspiring judokas.

"We do get youngsters coming along who may be bullied at school or a little bit withdrawn," he said.

"It gives you good social skills, confidence and helps you interact with your peers.

"My job is to just nurture them. When they get to a certain level, I pass them over to someone more experienced to get to the best level they can get."

Dave Dunsford
Dunsford used to work as a London cab driver but became a driving instructor in order to spend more time with his family and coaching judo

Dunsford, who works as a driving instructor, took up judo at the age of nine and qualified as a coach 10 years later.

"I trained hard to get qualified and now I am privileged to be able to work with these youngsters," he added.

"It is my passion and has saved me in rough times. In happier times it has given me so much back."

Dunsford will now go forward for the national award, which will be presented at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Glasgow on Sunday, 14 December.