Prince Andrew has presented members of a Batley martial arts academy with a top community award.
Dojo Academy sensei Keith Prole received the Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award from the Queen’s son at a special ceremony at Huddersfield University.
The prestigious award is a mark of recognition for the club’s work within the community.
“It’s probably one of the best days of my life! It’s not every day you get to shake hands with a real-life prince,” said Keith.
The CIA was set up to reward projects which are owned and developed by the people involved with them and provide an inspiration to others.
Dojo’s instructors give their time for free to teach martial arts to adults and children from a variety of faith groups and backgrounds.
“Batley is a multicultural, multi-faith area, and using martial arts as a catalyst to bring people together who probably wouldn’t normally mix in everyday life creates a much stronger sense of community.”
The academy staff are particularly keen to work with people suffering from depression, anxiety and stress, and many of their classes also appeal to children who have been bullied and want to build their confidence.
Dojo is located in Victoria Mills, and volunteers have organised a DIY SOS Batley challenge to improve their outdated facilities during a 48-hour period. Tradespeople and companies who can help refurbish the academy should contact project manager Paula Godfree on 07719605360.