A CLYDEBANK martial arts club is celebrating after its rising stars added more trophies to their busy collection.

Young Bankie and Titan Judo member Sophie McNeill defeated her opponents to be crowned Scottish Judo Champion in the B Band, girls U48kg category at the Scottish National Championships earlier this month.

Her club-mate, 12-year-old Emma McCabe, who travels from her home in Paisley to train at Clydebank Leisure Centre three times a week, also won gold at the competition, coming first in the U40kg category for the second year running.

Lucy McCabe and Patryk Fusiek, meanwhile, secured bronze in their respective categories, while coach Paul McGuinness also praised great performances from Zak Cuthbertson, Ethan Lambert and Paige Gilfillan.

And with the Scottish title secured, 13-year-old Sophie has now set her sights on victory at the British National Championships on December 1 and 2 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

She told the Post: “I’ve tried lots of other sports, but judo has always been the one I’ve enjoyed the most. I just want to keep getting better and better, and the way to do that is by competing as much as I can.

“I was really nervous before but as the competition began, I really started to enjoy it. I can’t wait to compete in the British Nationals next month.”

This month Sophie, who also trains several times a week with Titan Judo at the leisure centre and is an S3 pupil at Kelvinside Academy, was named runner-up in the Young Sports Personality of the Year category at the West Dunbartonshire Sports Awards.

Her award and success at the Scottish National Championships at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena comes hot on the heels of silver-medal winning performance last month at the Welsh Open Championships and earlier this year in Northern Ireland, in which U40kg Grand Prix champion and fellow Scottish title-holder Emma picked up a bronze and silver medal respectively.

Titan coach Paul McGuinness said: “Sophie has been with us for probably six or seven years, while Emma has been with us for about four or five years.

“This year has been pretty good for both girls and they both put strong performances at the Scottish Championships. It’s a great warm-up for the British Championships this weekend and we are hoping they will place and potentially medal so it’s a big thing.

“They are both members of JudoScotland’s talent development squad and due to their performances this year they have both been accepted into the performance programme, which they will start in January.

“It’s just a small club and we hope it will inspire more younger ones into competing.”

Titan Judo is open to new members. To find out more message judopaul@hotmail.com, the club’s Facebook or website or call 07970 519768.