BBC West Sports Unsung Hero award for Judo coach

Bath-based judo coach Peter Thatcher has been named BBC West Sports Unsung Hero for 2011.

Thatcher, who lives in Newbridge, has been teaching the sport for more than 40 years at Bath Judo club in Larkhall.

"I don't think there's been a week in my life where I haven't done judo - I do it five days a week," he told BBC Points West.

"There's a lot of pride about making other people feel good - and to me that's what it's about."

Thatcher, who used to work at Rolls Royce, is not just a coach at the club - he maintains and cleans the building and hires it out to other classes to keep costs down, as well as teaching judo at local schools.

"Other people do jobs that are more important. They put hours and hours in it. This is what I can do to help a section of the community.

"Some parents bring their children to us because they think we can give them co-ordination and confidence.

"I don't think you'll see a kid here without confidence. It doesn't have to be judo, it can be any sport. It's just about giving people the ability so they can become better than they were before."

Thatcher will now compete against winners from 15 other regions for the national award which is presented at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Manchester on 22 December.

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