A former Cambridge local has become what is believed to be the youngest serving Rotary president in the world.
Having turned 22 in April, Martin Judd, who grew up in Cambridge and moved to the UK five years ago, has been elected as President of the Manchester Trailblazers, one of three Rotary clubs in Manchester, formed in 2013.
He is confirmed as the UK’s youngest Rotary president, and with an average Rotarian age of 72, members believe Martin is likely the youngest serving Rotary president in the world and among the youngest in Rotary’s 112-year international history.
“Rotary is often thought of as a club for older men but this is just not true,” says Martin. “So the idea of breaking the mould and helping to change the image appeals to me a lot.”
That goes for Martin’s 18-year old girlfriend Nicole Harris too, the newest Trailblazers recruit and the youngest female Rotarian among the UK’s 50,000 members.
“Age has become a big issue in Rotary,” Martin added, “because the average age of a UK Rotarian is 72 and so the pressure is on to generate the next generation who can take our international network into the future. Without younger members the proud history of this great humanitarian voluntary organisation could grind to a halt.”
Martin was born in Tokoroa on North Island, New Zealand, the son of a racehorse trainer, and grew up in Cambridge and the UK before moving there permanently in 2012. It was here in Cambridge that he became interested in Rotary when schoolfriends joined a sponsored youth exchange group to Brazil. So, in 2014, he joined the newly formed Manchester Trailblazers and was elected ‘President Nominee’ within a year.
Martin lives in Oldham, works in customer services at Manchester Piccadilly’s Waitrose branch and is studying for an Open University degree in economics and mathematical sciences. During his presidential year he aims to raise membership, boost the charity fundraising programme and launch his own personal education and literacy projects.