AN Okehampton schoolboy has been selected for an elite judo training squad and hopes to be on the road to future Olympic Games.

Aidan Bostock, who is 15 and studying for his GCSEs at Okehampton College, has been selected for the England talent development squad, which aims to nurture and develop the youngsters to maximise their potential as elite British athletes.

The squad is selected from the best fighters from the England cadet and junior squads.

As a member of the squad, Aidan will benefit from extra domestic training camps and international competitions and camps.

In order to qualify for the squad, Aidan had to complete a gruelling selection process consisting of extensive physical testing, assessment of his judo ability, and an evaluation of his performance history and attitude towards training.

He is now hoping to represent England in the Great Britain trials, and if successful will represent Great Britain in the European Cadet Championships in June, and possibly the Youth Olympics in July.

Of course, success does not come without a great deal of dedication, and Aidan has a very tough training regime. He trains three evenings a week at the high performance Tamar Judo Centre at Saltash.

Aidan said: 'Even when I'm not actually taking part in judo training, I'm always doing some sort of physical exercise, whether that be swimming, running, cycling or general fitness.

'Judo is a real passion for me, but I have to try and fit in my school work as well. It's quite tough sometimes — it tends to be a case of fitting my homework in to my schedule. The important thing is to get my work done so I don't get detention, because then I couldn't go training!

'Sometimes I do question why I do judo, and why I train so hard all the time, but then when you get that perfect throw or win a gold, it makes it all worthwhile. It's the little moments that keep you going.'

When Aidan does get a rare moment away from training, he enjoys spending time with his friends and going to the cinema.

Do the other members of Tamar Judo Club shy away from a fight with Aidan? 'Certainly not, because it's a good high quality club, it's pretty much the best people training there. It draws in good players. There are people down there like Ella Percival, who's also from Okehampton. She has really great potential and in a few years' time she'll definitely be in the England squad, if not the talent development squad.'

Aidan started judo when he was five years old, and achieved the maximum grade as a primary and junior. He is the current under 16 national champion of the British Judo Council and Amateur Judo Association. He has been a member of the England judo squad since 2008, and has competed in major international competitions in Holland and Belgium.

Travelling to his various camps and competitions takes a great deal of time and money, and Aidan said: 'Okehampton Education Foundation have helped fund my expenses which is brilliant. They've also helped fund equipment like mats at the judo club, which we're very grateful for.'

More information on Okehampton Judo Club is available on their website at">