Hi all,

Graham Campbell, who’s been a member of our Board of Directors for 30 years, will be stepping down from the post later this year.  As a player I was with Graham at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand where he won 2 bronze medals for Scotland.  As I’m sure you’ll agree, Graham has been an extremely valuable member of the Board and will be a great loss to us.

Together with Graham and Judith, I was part of an interview panel, to identify and recruit someone for the (soon to be vacant) position of Finance Director.

I’m delighted to say that, after Board approval, Anthony Daye will be joining us. Anthony has an excellent, relevant CV and we’re looking forward to working with him.  As part of our succession planning process, he’ll be attending the Board soon and learning about the role ahead of his official appointment later in the year. We all wish him well and are looking forward to working with him.

On the 27th April I attended the Cluarankwai Judo Club 75th Anniversary  event in Kilmarnock. The club was founded in 1949 and is believed to be Scotland’s oldest club.  To celebrate the occasion they put on a special masterclass with Gary Edwards – our National Talent Development Coach, and Takafumi Kitahara – Assistant High Performance Judo Coach.

Unfortunately I had a slight accident on the morning of the event and managed to split my head open whilst setting up to teach judo.  I had to go to hospital to have my head ‘glued’ in a couple of different places so I do apologise for the state of my hair when I arrived!

Apart from that it was a great day and a delight to catch up with a couple of top judoka from a previous time – namely Paul Cassidy and Jim McCormack, both fabulous players from the 70s/80s. Overall it was a great day celebrating an excellent club!

The next day on 28th April, we were at the Lagoon Centre in Paisley for the Clyde Grand Prix. Again, good to catch up with the broader judo community and, as ever, the event was well run and went very smoothly. Watching some of the younger weight divisions, I was struck by the quality of the judo, hopefully signifying exciting times ahead!

On Monday 29 April I flew down to Birmingham for the British Judo Board of Directors meeting. They had arranged for us to be at the horse racing at Wolverhampton Race Track the evening before and a couple of their Directors walked away with a bucket full of cash, unfortunately not me! The Board meeting took place the next morning; an interesting session where all of the home nations have a prepared update, and linked up srategies across the NGBs is encouraged.

Elsewhere in the month, most of you will be aware that in April we went digital.  JudoScotland have brought us into the 21st century and introduced new digital memberships you can access via your phone. To make things easier for clubs, they will soon be able to administer their gradings online too; music to many ears I’m sure!

And finally Judith and myself spent a bit of time this month in conversations with a few sporting facilities that may be of benefit to us for the future and keep us ahead of the game….more on that to come!


Marc Preston

6th Dan