James Rutherford, a judo star and pupil at Beath High School, has won a gold medal at the 2024 Commonwealth Judo Championships in Malta.

The 15-year-old's success story was highlighted when Cowdenbeath Rotary Club awarded him £250 in response to an appeal for funding.

James, a member of Destination Judo Club, represented Scotland as one of 16 judokas at the event. He clinched a gold in the under-55kg cadet category.

Last year, he transitioned from the pre-cadets to the cadets category, for those aged 15-17, winning bronze at various national and international events.

Unfazed by facing taller opponents, James demonstrated excellent skill by defeating England's Ethan Watkin in 27 seconds and subsequently South Africa's Dylan Roux.

Both victories were secured by uchi mata, an unexpected manoeuvre from his usual repertoire.

Speaking after his triumphant return, he expressed his pride at representing JudoScotland at the prestigious competition and was equally thrilled with the performances of his fellow Scots who returned with medals.

His dad, Alex, addressed the Rotary Club, detailing James's tireless efforts to raise funds to support his pursuits. He described a busy schedule of activities that helps facilitate his son's medal-winning aspirations.

The latest funding from the club will certainly bolster his efforts to continually compete with and best the finest.

The club’s appeals co-ordinator, David Hunter, said: "James is a very talented judo exponent and his letter asking for support contained tremendous enthusiasm and desire to succeed."

James, and dad Alex, received the cheque from Rotary Club president John Gilfillan and said afterward: "I would like to thank the Rotarians, and many others who have provided backing recently, it is very important to me."