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Pride of Bracknell: Don's given his life to judo

Published: 28 Mar 2013 19:000 comments

Don't forget to nominate your unsung heroes

A DEDICATED coach who has been imparting judo wisdom for half a century has been nominated for a Pride of Bracknell Award - and we would like readers to let us know about other unsung heroes.

Don Werner with some of the youngsters he coaches at Pinewood.

A DEDICATED coach who has been imparting judo wisdom for half a century has been nominated for a Pride of Bracknell Award.

For 80-year-old Don Werner, judo is his life. He has become a household name in the area when it comes to leading his students to Olympic, World and National Championship victories on a regular basis.

He has been involved in judo in the Bracknell area since 1956, as a teacher and a coach. He began volunteering at Pinewood Judo Club, in Old Wokingham Road, in 1979, where he has been coaching relentlessly ever since. "It's just what I do," he told the News. "Judo is the main thing I'm interested in, it's my main love. I like it because it's an individual sport, it teaches children very strict discipline."

To nominate someone for a Pride of Bracknell Award, fill in the online form at www.bracknellnews.co.uk/prideofbracknell

Don says his success is as much down to the many children and adults he has taught as it is to his teaching style. He described judo as being like "physical chess" and added: "All my top people have been very intelligent. The children who do judo are quite admirable, they've really got a lot of guts and determination.

"It's amazing what they can do and as they get older, they get even better."

Don even teaches a group of over 50s who have been learning judo under his watchful eyes since they were youngsters. And there is no sign of him throwing the towel in anytime soon. He said: "I'll be going on until I can't do it anymore and I'm hoping that will be a long way away! I've still got a lot to do yet."

The Pride of Bracknell Awards ceremony will be held at Bracknell and Wokingham College on Friday, April 26, attended by shortlisted nominees and VIP guests.

Don said he was "honoured" to be nominated for an award and added: "Coaches work very hard, especially the voluntary ones who don't get paid for it. It's nice that people like that get recognised occasionally."

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