Amartuvshin Dashdavaa Masterclasses

🥋 World Silver Medallist

🥋 3 x Masters Medallist

🥋 1 x Grand Slam Champion

🥋 7 x Grand Slam Medallist

🥋 6 x Grand Prix Champion

🥋 11 x Grand Prix Medallist

JudoScotland are delighted to welcome world-class Mongolian Judoka Amartuvshin Dashdavaa to run a set of masterclasses for Scottish Judoka! A highly decorated Judoka with World, Grand Slam, Masters and Grand Prix titles throughout his career, he will share his wealth of expertise through a set of masterclasses.

Masterclass East

Venue: JudoScotland NTC

Date: 2nd of April 2023

Time: 2.30 pm – 4 pm

Book Your Space

Glasgow Masterclass

Venue: Pro Judo City Venue, 50 West Campbell Street, G2 6QQ

Date: 3rd of April 2023


Children u12’s: 6-7 pm

Youths & Seniors: 7:30-9 pm

Book Your Space

Judo For All: Young Judoka line up ready to take part in a judo session, a mix of belts ages and abilities.

Judo For All: JudoScotland Launches New Strategic Plan 2023 - 2027

It’s an exciting time for JudoScotland as we launch our new strategic plan for 2023 – 2027, Judo for All.  Our plan reflects the ambitious direction of the organisation and has been developed following an in-depth consultation with our members and stakeholders to encapsulate our collective aims.

The new plan presents a range of fantastic opportunities for the future putting inclusivity at the core of the sport.

JudoScotland CEO Judith McCleary said “We are hugely grateful for all the input we have had and for the support and trust provided by sportscotland who have committed significant funding to help us deliver our Strategic Plan. Our JudoScotland staff team has been working behind the scenes to create Operational Plans that will bring our ‘Judo for All’ strategy to life.

We are committed to offering bespoke club support and you will find an increased number of direct club communications from our team as we offer help & guidance on a range of things including player, coach and volunteer recruitment & retention.

We recognise the need to modernise and as such, we will shortly begin the recruitment of a Digital Communications Officer as we progress our digitalisation services to be more efficient as an organisation and most importantly, to make things simple for our clubs and members.

Over this next period, we will be sharing guidance for clubs on how to implement technical & tactical, behavioural and physical development tools from the JudoScotland Player Development Framework. All of this is with one aim – to support everybody involved in a judoka’s development, whether that be recreational or competitive.

Within our Talent Development programme, you will start to see more physical and behavioural benchmarks being implemented as players are supported to prepare themselves for the Performance programme and as we strive for Scottish athlete success.

We are delighted to have received investment support from sportscotland for a part-time Disability post. We know there is great work already happening across many of our clubs and we want to expand on this and ensure we have appropriate pathway support in place to enable participants with a disability to maximise their potential and make judo their chosen sport for life.

We will also be reviewing our gradings and membership offerings, both of which are big projects but with the aim of ensuring high quality and valuable packages. We will be seeking your feedback so please do take the time to share your views when asked!

We will continue to offer a calendar of events that will include a range of competitions and up-skilling events for our workforce. We have working groups established for a number of our competitions, focussed on providing the best possible experiences for our members.

We couldn’t deliver or achieve our aims without our volunteers, and we will endeavour to provide training and guidance that will contribute to an even better and more diverse workforce to meet the needs of our membership. Within this next year, you will see us launch our Young Leaders programme with our long-term ambition to enable every club in Scotland to have a young leader. This is part of our work to ensure youth voices are heard and positively influencing our direction as a sport. We will be striving to increase our female representation within the sport too; an area where we know we have work to do, but where there are great opportunities.

By 2027, we aim to grow a more diverse membership comprising of over 10,000 individuals. Having an increased membership will enable greater opportunities in the development of the sport including but not limited to bigger pools of judoka to support competitions, national gradings and player development. There is huge potential for the sport and all our goals are aligned to JudoScotland’s vision to be a Scottish Governing Body renowned for excellence, enabling people of all ages and abilities to realise their potential.

Whilst I have only shared a few areas within our Operational Plans, I hope it gives you a flavour of what is ahead. We have a fantastic team of staff and volunteers who are ready and excited for the next chapter as we focus on Judo for All.”

Forbes Dunlop, CEO at sportscotland commented “Judo For All is a clear strategy that will enable people of all ages and abilities to realise their potential within judo. The values of Judo have the inherent ability to not only create better athletes but a better society. I look forward to seeing JudoScotland put this plan into action to deliver a truly inclusive sport.”

The success of the strategy will require collaboration, not only from our key partners sportscotland and British Judo, but the whole Scottish Judo community including the dedicated volunteers, coaches and clubs who make our sport happen.

Download Judo For All Strategy Here

MSP’s Visit Carnegie Judo Club As Part Of Their Inquiry Into Female Participation In Sport And Physical Activity

Last week the Cross-Party Health, Social Care and Sport Committee visited Fudog Martial Arts and Carnegie Judo Club with Fighting Chance Project (Scotland) in Dunfermline as part of the Inquiry into female participation in sport and physical activity.

The Committee’s inquiry into the health and wellbeing of children and young people highlighted a significant decline in participation of girls in sport and physical activity as they reach adolescence. This can have a significant negative impact on their physical health and mental wellbeing. Based on these findings, the Committee agreed to undertake an inquiry into sport, looking specifically at barriers to female participation, including the intersectionality of additional barriers to participation, such as ethnicity and disability.

The visit was made by members of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee Gillian Martin MSP (Committee Convener), Evelyn Tweed MSP, Stephanie Callaghan MSP, Gillian MacKay MSP and Tess White MSP supported by Ewan Masson (Participation and Communities Team), Heather Galway (Assistant Clerk to the Committee) and Sarah Swift (Scottish Parliament Information Centre). They spent time hearing the opinions of females and young people from across the various classes taught in the dojo, including Team Scotland Birmingham 2022 athlete Kirsty Marsh as well as former performance judoka, Connie Ramsay and Kirstene Feenan.

Jim Feenan Director at The Fighting Chance Project (Scotland) and Head Coach at Carnegie Judo Club said “We were delighted to host Gillian Martin and her cross-party team to the dojo and the chance to speak to a representative group of women and girls from the local area.  This was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the benefits of judo and other martial arts in helping improve participants overall physical and mental health. For sure, there was quite a buzz as our guests left.”

If you would like to find out more about the work of Fighting Chance Scotland click here.


Photo Credit: Ross Hart from Dunfermline Press and Dave Wardle

Obituary: Jimmy Mcquade

JudoScotland is saddened to learn of the passing of Jimmy Mcquade, 5th Dan, formerly of the Glasgow Sen-I judo club, on 17th March at the age of 79 years.

Jimmy was a physical and skilful judo player, winning medals at Scottish and area championships over many years. He was a Scottish International and competed at the Dutch open in the 1970s and was part of the first Scottish team, who competed against and trained with in the USA in 1976.

He was a strong supporter of Masters judo and competed at the World Masters Championships in Vienna in 2008, and in Japan at the Kodokan, in Tokyo in 2003.

Jimmy had an interest in Scottish local politics and was elected as a Councillor for Ward 11 (Erskine & Inchinnan) on Renfrewshire Council at the 2012 local government elections.

Jimmy Mcquade will be missed across  Scottish judo circles and we send our best wishes to his wife Simone and all who knew him.

Jimmy Mcquade’s funeral will be held on Monday 3rd April at Dalnotter crematorium, Clydebank at 9.30am.

JudoScotland Appoints Two New Independent Directors

JudoScotland is pleased to announce the appointment of Lynne Glen and Sandy Hodge as Independent Directors to the JudoScotland Board.  Together they bring a wealth of experience from the Scottish sport environment, which will significantly benefit the direction of the organisation and Judo in Scotland.

Lynne Glen

Lynne brings her expertise in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, with experience as a volunteer and professional in sports development. Inspired to join the Board through working with JudoScotland in a professional capacity in her role as Pathways Manager at Scottish Disability Sport, Lynne saw first-hand the positive change Judo can produce.

Lynne commented, “Physical activity and sport should be available, welcoming and inclusive for everyone, regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex (gender), sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnership.

I feel very strongly about that, and this is what drives me in both my professional and volunteering roles.

I am delighted to be appointed to the role as independent director and very excited to be part of a great, forward-thinking organisation. I have witnessed first-hand the difference judo makes to peoples’ lives.

I look forward to working with the CEO, Board and Staff (organisation) to achieve more diverse representation within the sport of judo with the end result being more people from more backgrounds participating, coaching and officiating in judo.”

Sandy Hodge

With over 25 years of experience in the Scottish sports landscape, Sandy brings a wealth of understanding at all levels. Until recently Sandy worked as our Partnership Manager with sportscotland before moving on to his new role as CEO at the Scottish Football Partnership. His decision to join the Board after being involved with the sport over the past several years is a testament to the direction of Judo in Scotland.

Sandy Commented “There were three broad reasons why I applied for the role;

1.The project excites me, I am enthused by the progress that has been made at JudoScotland over the last 18 months and I buy into the direction of travel. I also believe there is lots of headroom for the organisation to grow and develop and that is something I want to be a part of.

2. I feel I can make a positive contribution and play a part in the development of the sport and the organisation over the next few years. I have significant experience working with many SGB Boards and I feel I can use that to positively impact on JudoScotland.

3. I align very much with the values of the sport and the organisation, whilst not being a judoka myself I admire the moral code and all it stands for.

The role is hugely important to me for many reasons. It’s a great honour to accept the role of Independent Director at an organisation like JudoScotland, to be trusted to contribute to and shape the future of the sport is a privilege I will not take lightly and I look forward to playing my part in the future success. I believe we can use the power of Judo to positively impact on people’s lives at all levels of the sport and that we as a Board have a very important role to empower the team to maximise that impact.

I am an ambitious person and I see no reason why JudoScotland should not strive to be the best SGB at all levels. From positively impacting communities to supporting elite athletes to achieve on the world stage, Judo and JudoScotland are well placed to achieve great success over the coming years. I also believe that we can be sector-leading regarding corporate excellence. I personally want to see the people, sport and organisation flourish and grow whilst playing my part in that journey. I am motivated by empowering and supporting others to achieve their potential and look forward to seeing the great people at JudoScotland grow and develop.”

JudoScotland Chair, Marc Preston added, “Sandy and Lynne are fantastic additions to the JudoScotland Board with their knowledge, experiences and fresh independent viewpoints. The calibre and volume of applications for the Independent Director Vacancies was outstanding, making it an exceptionally difficult task for the Nominations Committee to choose just two new directors and we are delighted that Sandy and Lynne have accepted our offers to join us over the next 4 years. It is an exciting time for JudoScotland and I am looking forward to seeing the positive difference this Board can make.”

Scottish Referee Victoria Kirk Promoted to National B

Last weekend JudoScotland referee Victoria Kirk, succeeded in her promotion to National B referee at the British Schools Championship. A brilliant achievement which sees her on the way to the top ranks of British referees. Following her promotion, we caught up with Victoria to hear about her journey into refereeing.

How did you get into refereeing?
"When I was a junior judoka, I would go to senior tournaments watching my dad and would want to be involved. I started refereeing at tournaments I wasn't taking part in."

What do you enjoy most about refereeing?
"I like meeting people and giving back to judo. Watching players progress."

What are your aspirations as a referee and how will this promotion help you get there?

"I am enjoying refereeing wherever I go just now. I'm looking to continue to develop and will look to gain my National A and then take it from there."

What advice would you give someone looking to get involved in refereeing?
"Do it, we are a friendly bunch of people who support one another. It's rewarding and enjoyable.
Stay respectful to everyone as sometimes emotions can run high, just be understanding."

If you are interested in starting your journey to refereeing and officiating, why not come along to our online Time Keeping Course next Wednesday. 

Obituary: Eddie Ainsworth

JudoScotland is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Eddie Ainsworth, 7th, Dan, aged 86 years. Eddie lived all his life in Stevenson, in Ayrshire and ran judo clubs in Auchenharvie and in Ardeer for many years, and later ran the first karate club in Scotland. After many years of service, Eddie stepped down from Judo in 2017 aged 82.

He was Scotland’s longest-serving international referee and in addition,  was a Senior Examiner,  area coach, and a Scottish Judo Union regional representative.

Eddie will be missed by many in judo, and our thoughts are with Eddie’s wife, Maureen, family and friends. His funeral will be held privately.


International Women's Day: When Will I Fit Sport In?!

This International Women’s Day JudoScotland Chief Executive, Judith shares her experience on fitting sport into a busy life:

I am just one of many thousands of working mums who ironically often feel like we’re on the never ending treadmill.

After packing nursery & school bags, dropping children off at childcare and rushing about uploading homework and squeezing in a bit of life admin before work, my thoughts vary from feeling like Superwoman when I arrive at work through to other days when I feel a complete failure at everything (usually when my voice has been raised a little higher than I’d like to admit).

I love my job, in fact I thrive on being in a challenging environment and I just want to influence more people to experience the enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved and developing themself within sport. Sport is so powerful; I’ve gained a heap of life skills and friends through playing a variety of sports throughout my childhood and adulthood.

So as I juggle what feels like a million balls at times, I ask myself why I often now find myself placing sport at the bottom of the priority list. It’s too easy to prioritise an email or two that are awaiting responses, or the cleaning that couldn’t possibly be held off for another day. Perhaps I put too high an expectation on myself……I know I do, and I am just one of thousands of others in the same boat, doing the same. Women in our society still carry the majority of caring responsibilities. This isn’t just in relation to children, but also in relation to caring for parents, neighbours and friends. This enormous responsibility comes at the risk of neglecting care for oneself.

The sport I am involved most with is curling and the late shift game from 9-11pm can sometimes be a real dread to get out the door for, especially on a dark, rainy winter’s night. But when I step on the ice, I almost instantly feel like ‘me’ and focus entirely on the game in hand, switching off to other tasks and problems. By the time it’s finished, I often feel ready to take on the world again.

As a wise person once told me, if you want to look after others to the best of your ability, you must first look after yourself. Being active / involved in sport isn’t selfish, it’s critical for our wellbeing, both mentally and physically. The power of sport cannot be underestimated.

So on this International Women’s Day, I urge you all to make a commitment to be active yourself and to pay particular care to the women around you and offer them support to ensure they get that critical time they need to prioritise activity.

News From the Chair

A Brief update from the Chair of some key events and recent news from February:

Hi Judo Community,

This month’s Report from the Chair is slightly different to the norm.  I’d like to focus a bit more on where we are in JudoScotland and to ask for your support.

We’re just about to start a big piece of work to refresh and improve our current grading system.  And we’ll shortly be approaching member clubs to get your views.  With this in mind, and as a bit of pre-work, can I ask all our clubs to review your membership and ensure that they’re all JudoScotland members so that we have an accurate picture of numbers.  As part of our strategy, we’ve set targets to increase our membership over the next 4 years.  We know there are many benefits to membership but critically everyone doing judo in Scotland needs to be insured. In fact, a club has had this tested recently.

Can I also ask you to look at our grading rebate incentive where clubs are rewarded for doing a 3rd grading in the year.

If we can push our membership and grading capacities up, we will not only be rewarding learning and achievement but will be generating additional income that can be reinvested from grassroots right through to high performance.  And that benefits all of us as a community.   We’ve always had great support from all of clubs – and long may that last!

As part of the gradings review, we’ve revised the previous Job Description for the Area Director of Examiners.  The role is now called the JudoScotland Director of Examiners and will work in conjunction with the Business Delivery Team to focus on Dan Grades and the recruitment and training of Senior Examiners. The position was promoted to the wider community, and after a series of interviews, I’m delighted to announce that Rick Kenney was successful in securing the role.  Congratulations Rick and we look forward to working closely with you to enhance our Dan Grades.

One area that we’ve always struggled with in JudoScotland is attracting Independent Directors.  We now have Jodie who joined the Board last year with her legal background and who has been a great asset.  We recently went out to recruit two more Independent Directors and were delighted when 5 strong candidates came forward. I’ll give you more info in my next report as the appointments will be ratified at the next Board Meeting on 7th March.

Incidentally, it was interesting during the interviews that all the candidates indicated they’d come forward because they’d heard exciting things about our organisation. -music to our ears!

My tenure finishes in 3 years and 8 months – let’s work together to make this an exceptionally productive and exciting period for the judo community.



Rick Kenney OBE 8th Dan Appointed as JudoScotland Director of Examiners

JudoScotland is delighted to announce the appointment of Rick Kenney OBE 8th Dan to the role of JudoScotland Director of Examiners. Following a comprehensive recruitment process, the Nominations Committee recommended Rick based on his wealth of experience and knowledge which will have a positive impact in developing this area of the sport.

Rick will play a vital role over the next 4 years working with JudoScotland’s Business Delivery Team to recruit, train and supervise Senior Examiners, and to deliver, develop and promote opportunities for Scottish judoka to participate in the BJA Dan grade scheme.

On his appointment, Rick said, "I look forward to working with the team of Senior Examiners to provide wider opportunities for all judoka to progress along the grading pathway, both competitive and technical."

JudoScotland CEO, Judith McCleary added, “Gradings reward the development and accomplishments of judoka during what we encourage as lifelong involvement in the sport. The pride associated with earning grades at all levels is something to recognise and embrace. In the coming months, we will start a review of our gradings at all levels and I am delighted that Rick will be involved in shaping the Dan grade syllabus as part of this review.”

JudoScotland would like to wish Rick the best of luck in the role.