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

Hi Judo Community,

Happy New Year! I’m sure 2023 is going to be a great one for our sport!  

In January, the major event for JudoScotland was our very own Scottish Open, held at Inverclyde, Largs on 21-22nd January. This was the biggest event we’ve run for many years and, in my opinion – based on numbers, presentation and the use of new technology – certainly one of the best.  

Over 550 competitors from 15 different countries took part, the Telegram app was well used and the live streaming, which we tried for the first time, generated tremendous interest.  

We had some great feedback, both during the event and afterwards. As always after our events now, our office colleagues will hold a thorough review, to affirm what went well and to identify where we can improve for 2024 and beyond. They will be asking the question “The Scottish Open will be even better if …”.

And, talking about that, we’ve already announced and started to promote the date for next year. The 2024 Scottish Open will take place on the 20th & 21st of January at the National Centre Inverclyde.  

Get the date in your diary!

Towards the end of the month, on 28th January, I had the pleasure of working with Paul and Alec at the Kata course in Kilmarnock. For those of you who’ve not tried Kata, I’d highly recommend it. I’m sure you would enjoy your day with the witty duo! Keep your eyes open for the next one.

We ended the month, with the Board of Directors Meeting on the 31st. We used Teams to hold the session online. 

Personally, I’m always keen on seeing the team face-to-face, but there’s a place for technology and ‘virtual’ sessions – especially in January when the Scottish weather can turn and make it difficult for those who have a long way to travel.  

One of the things we discussed was our new sponsorship policy and strategy.  And this is where I’d like to ask for your help; Do you know of any person/organisation or company who’d be a good match for our sport – and who might be interested in discussing a sponsorship deal? Could you ask anyone who’s interested to contact the office to see if there is a fit and a way forward? You’d be amazed at how many contacts we have as a community!  

Congratulations to the eight coaches who have completed their first year of a 2-year coaching programme at the JudoScotland Coaching Academy, an initiative that’s been set up to help push Scottish Judo to the forefront. I’m sure we’ll all see the benefits in the future.  

And finally, I’d like to end this short update with my own feelings. I absolutely believe that 2023 is going to be a massive year for JudoScotland and for our community. Many of the initiatives that were started in 2022 will be coming to fruition, and there are lots more in the pipeline. I, for one, am excited!!

Marc Preston, Chairman, 6th Dan