W.Bro. Handscombe is a 4th Dan black belt and has been involved with South Molton Judo Club for 38 years and served as chief instructor and principal for the past 28 years.

His nomination said: “He has had a considerable, positive influence on scores of youngsters through his passionate knowledge, committed organisation, and tireless teaching of life skills.

“He has personally mentored students to achieve black belt ranking and personal success in their careers. He always has the time to offer an ear and lend advice to steer youngsters in the right direction.”

Since 1993 W.Bro Handscombe has also been a volunteer hospital car driver as well as a volunteer Red Cross car servciue driver.

He has worked on behalf of many different causes in the South Molton area such as martial arts, football, the local church and the town band.

W.Bro Handscombe told the Gazette he had got into judo through his own children taking part in the sport and he had moved on to teaching.

He said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ to receive a BEM and said of his dedication to the sport: “I have children who started off with me years ago who are now senior players in their own right.”

(taken and adapted from North Devon Gazette)