Following a comprehensive recruitment process, JudoScotland is delighted to announce Stephen Somerville has taken on the role of Disability Development Officer.

Stephen, who previously held the role of National Development Executive until 2019, will join the team on a part-time basis to develop our Adaptive Judo offering as part of our new Strategic Plan ‘Judo For All’.

The role of Disability Development Officer will lead the support and development of opportunities for people with disabilities to engage, progress and flourish in the sport of judo. Stephen will be responsible for creating and providing relevant development opportunities for the workforce to establish clear, transparent performance pathways across the JudoScotland and British Judo landscapes.

On his appointment, Stephen said, “I’m delighted to be back at JudoScotland in these very exciting times. My passion comes from Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo. As a judoka, you must contribute to society and that’s ingrained in our belief systems as you grow as a judo player. Too often people will say ‘They can’t do it’ but I think we have proven many times it doesn’t matter what your disability is you can always take part in some way.”

“There are many strands of pathways that people might not be fully aware of, from the Special Olympics to the Deaf Olympics.  I think most people will be aware of the Visually Impaired pathway as we’ve had success in the past with people like Sam Ingram (winner of two Paralympic medals), but there are many other pathways for judokas living with a disability.”

Talking about his immediate priorities in the role, Stephen added; “Gathering data is so important, and everyone needs to help us here as the more information we get from our membership the clearer our understanding of what we need to put in place. I think people tend to think we are being nosy when asking disability questions but we are asking it so we have a clear understanding of what the base level is and how we can best support Judoka.”

If you would like to discuss the landscape of disability Judo in Scotland further, you can contact Stephen at