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Award winner Steve is Makin a difference; MARTIAL ARTS.

AN inspirational man from Tyne and Wear who has dedicated almost 40 years of his life teaching judo to others has been recognised with a national honour.

Steven Makin has been given a British Citizen Award for his services to education.

The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in January 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society.

BCAs are awarded twice annually and recognise 'everyday' people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Makin has had a passion for judo since he was eight years old, becoming a teacher at 17 and achieving a black belt a year later.

He quickly established himself as an inspirational teacher and mentor for junior and senior judoka. Makin has concentrated on teaching in some of the most deprived areas of the North East, giving children and adults the chance to learn the martial art when they would otherwise not have the funds or opportunity to do so.

The 55-year-old has also continued to learn judo himself, training the Kodakan in Japan, Bosnia, Bordeaux and Pakistan.

Makin also teaches at schools and colleges for a variety of youth and adult groups and was involved in the 'Lucky Stars Programme' which gives children and adults with various learning and physical disabilities the opportunity to join in judo. He has also had to overcome his own health issues after suffering a cardiac arrest and undergoing heart surgery.

However, his commitment and dedication remained unaffected - he fought his way back to full fitness and was teaching again just eight weeks after his surgery.

Makin still practices and teaches five nights a week in various clubs and sports centres around the North East, seeing on average 200 students per week.

He was honoured at a prestigious ceremony at the Palace of Westminster in London, receiving a Medal of Honour inscribed with the words 'For the Good of the Country'.

Makin said: "I was very shocked and overwhelmed by the nomination, it was a fantastic surprise. "I have taught and trained adults and children all over the world, including kids who have had no money for the lessons, suits or trips and we have helped them raise money so they could take part.

"It is very satisfying to know I have helped make a difference.

"I love judo and it has allowed me to meet people from all walks of life." Makin was nominated for a BCA by friend and Judo Association volunteer Ian Mills, who said: "Steve has selflessly given up his time and passed on his knowledge of judo in the region and around the country."

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Steve Makin (centre) with his British Citizen Award

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 7, 2017
Words:448
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