Hi all,

March was a busy month for the judo community.

I attended a couple of Kata courses. On 2-3 March internationally renowned Sensei Yoshihiko Iura 8th Dan ran a kata course, organised by JudoScotland at Largs. We learned Koshiki No Kata and Ju No Kata. It was a fantastic weekend and exceptionally well attended. Great to see two of our Vice Presidents, Rick Kenney and Jim Feenan on the mat illustrating that you’re never too experienced to stop learning!

Then on 17th March, I joined the Kodokan Goshin Jutsu. The event was a fundraiser for Chris Murphy, our exceptional ID World Judo Champion, as he looks to enhance his training and competitive skills in preparation for defending his title later this year. The course demonstrated how judo can counter different forms of attack from an armed opponent, an invaluable lesson in self-defence.

During the month, I went for a short family holiday to Budapest. Whilst there, we met up with Lisa Allan, Secretary General of the International Judo Federation at their offices. Lovely to see Lisa again and to learn more about her role and her life in this beautiful European capital city! And incredible that a small country like Scotland can produce so many exceptional people. Well done Lisa and thanks for a delicious lunch – very kind!

From 18-20 March colleagues at JudoScotland and I had a progress check with external auditors KPMG. The whole team have been working exceptionally hard on the recommendations and actions to improve governance and efficiencies at JudoSotland. I am personally confident that we will get a much-improved bill of health!

On 21 March I attended the Scottish Governing Bodies Chairs Networking Event. This is an excellent forum where the Chairs of different Scottish sports get together to share experiences and tackle emerging issues. The topics in March included funding cuts and venue closures, what’s happening and what we might do to mitigate risks. We discussed collaborating across sports to share venues and support each other.

Finally, let’s not forget all of the various events and courses delivered by JudoScotland during the month. The Level 1 Coaching Course on the 24th was a great success and sold out! Not to mention other events such as the Open Mat Session on the 12th, Coaching for Visually Impaired Athletes on the 24th and our Female Voices Open Call on the 27th.

And all the very best from us to Malin Wilson who has taken up Spanish citizenship and from now will be competing for Spain in her quest to be selected for this year’s Olympic Games. Good luck Malin from Scotland.

Marc Preston

6th Dan