The Duke of Edinburgh Award has long held its position as a programme to empower young people, helping them to develop new skills, overcome obstacles and build confidence and resilience. We caught up with two Judoka from Dumfries Judo Academy, Joshua Stewart who is completing his Silver Award and Marion Matheson who is completing her Bronze Award, to hear about their journey on the programme and how they have been able to use Judo as part of it.

Why did you decide to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

Marion: I decided to take part because it seemed like a great experience, and I had heard of it for quite a while. It seemed very interesting and there were a lot of opportunities for me.

Joshua: It seemed like a good opportunity to learn life skills and be appealing to universities and other workplaces later in life.

There are four different elements to the Duke of Edinburgh Award; volunteering, physical, skills and expedition. Why did you decide to pick Judo for volunteering and physical?

Marion:  I already do judo as a hobby and I decided, it seemed like a good thing for me to do for the physical element. And for volunteering, I had never done any kind of coaching or volunteering before, so it seemed like a good opportunity for me.

Joshua: I really enjoy Judo as a Sport, it’s something I find fun. It is the first time I have volunteered at the club, and I have liked working with other people and teaching them about the sport.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

Marion: It’s great to meet new people and to help other people in learning new things in Judo.

Joshua: I like meeting new people and teaching myself the skills to help people.

Do you feel that the Duke of Edinburgh Award has provided you with skills to use in later life?

Marion: I do, I think it’s helped me to be more confident and given me more experience in talking to people.

Joshua: It’s made me more confident talking to people I don’t necessarily know and more confident in my skills and that I know what I’m doing when I’m teaching people.

Do you think volunteering is something you’ll continue to do after you finish the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

Marion: It seems like a good thing that I would like to do, and yes it would be good for me to take that on. I would possibly like to help with coaching.

Joshua: Yes. I’ve quite enjoyed volunteering, even out with the club. I would certainly consider going into coaching.

Why do you think somebody should try the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

Marion: I think they should do it because it’s a good experience and it’s very fun and enjoyable.

Joshua: It’s a good way to meet new people and develop new skills.

Thank you, Marion and Joshua, for sharing your story, we look forward to hearing how you get on with the rest of the award. If you would like to find out more about how you can take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award or support someone on their Duke of Edinburgh journey click here.

If you are making Judo part of your Duke of Edinburgh story, let us know by emailing