TROWBRIDGE youngster JJ Smith has received the Star Award from the National Association of Karate and Martial Art Schools.

The award is a recognition for outstanding talent and abilities within its membership amongst both adults and children.

Nine-year-old Smith has been honoured for his outstanding commitment to karate, working hard in lessons and travelling up and down the country to train with myriad teachers to get more experience, despite suffering from Crohn’s Disease.

Smith, who attends Grove Primary School in Trowbridge, began training at the Leigh Park Community Centre in Westbury at the age of five and he has recently achieved his black belt.

Instructor Jeff Smith said: “I’m pleased for JJ achieving this award. It’s a huge success for him.

“As a club, we try hard to teach our students of all ages and abilities, the spirit and values of traditional martial arts and JJ is always keen to show that spirit.

“JJ is a fantastic role model for our younger and older students alike. He is always willing to help people and strives to be the best martial artist he can be.

“With the grit and determination, he shows I am sure he will have a bright future in martial arts.”

Youngster Smith uses his karate to fundraise for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and he puts on events to help raise funds to research more into the disease.

NAKMAS national chair Joe Ellis said: “NAKMAS has seen individuals throughout its 27 years, showing real talent and abilities.

“We created this award to highlight individuals that NAKMAS feels should be recognised nationally, and with our full support.

“We have been hearing about JJ for a while and have pleasure in making him a recipient.”