A Brief update from the Chair of some key events and recent news from August.

Hi Judo Community,

With the Summer holidays now seeming like a distant memory, it’s time to concentrate on ensuring we have a strong finish to what, so far, has been a highly successful 2023!

The JudoScotland Board of Directors had our regular monthly meeting on 15th August, and, as always, worked our way through a wide range of material/topics.

I’m delighted with the response we’ve had from applications for the 3 Board of Director positions (2 Directors and 1 Treasurer). We’ve had the best response in living memory, with 7 applicants for the Director Roles and 1 for Treasurer.  All people keen to be part of our organisation going forward, I feel this truly reflects the great strides we’ve been making recently in JudoScotland.   I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have applied and to wish them good luck.  I look forward to working with the successful candidates.

The membership will get the chance to meet the candidates in an ‘online chat/debate and Q&A session’ on the evening of the 18th of September. More details on how you can get involved to follow.

Also, this month I participated in the British Judo Board meeting on 22nd August – this is something that Graham Campbell would ordinarily do on our behalf.  I found it very interesting.  Again, we covered a wide range of topics.  I was particularly interested in their ‘Youth Panel Update’ – the Panel being a group of youngsters who regularly feed upwards to the Board with their observations, thoughts and recommendations.  Something we are proactively pursuing for JudoScotland.  I believe that the opinions of our younger judoka are important for our future development.

We’re also planning on having a live broadcast of a BOD meeting before the end of the year.

Members will be able to connect in and get a feel for how the Board operates. We will get back to you shortly with more details.

On a different note, I’d like to welcome current Olympic Champion, Shohei Ono, and his former coach, Shinji Hosokawa, to Scotland.  Shohei will be in Scotland for the next year or so, depending on his English studies. Judith and I met up with him for lunch when, as well as agreeing to attend The Gathering, he kindly committed to doing several training camps/dates for Scottish judokas. It’s a tremendous opportunity for Scotland to have such a world-class competitor in our midst.

And staying with Japan, Masahi Ebinuma, 3-times World Champion, and Kana Ebinuma, 2-times All Japan Champion, expressed their desire to experience a day’s falconry.  Our very own Lee McGrorty, 2002 Commonwealth Games medallist, and expert falconer has kindly offered to entertain our guests (Shohei and Judith are also planning to join) and let them experience some spectacular Gyr Falcons flying.  Thanks, Lee.

Finally, on a personal note, this month I was also able to spend a bit of time with Colin McIver, 9th Dan. Firstly, marvelling at how well-trained his cocker spaniel is!  And then, by attending the Scotland vs. Georgia Rugby match.

Neither of us knew very much about rugby but we had a very enjoyable day finding out (and we won!).

Looking forward to catching up with everyone soon at the (sold-out) Gathering. Promises to be a great weekend!

Marc Preston

6th Dan