Hi all 

I hope by the time you’re reading this you’re enjoying – or looking forward to –  a well-deserved break.   

For me, the month started on 1st June when I caught up with Neil and Niki Adams.   Neil is an MBE, 9th Dan, ambassador for the JudoScotland Coaching Academy, technical expert and referee supervisor for the IJF.    He was in Ratho to deliver a very well attended course on competition rules.  I know Neil and Niki well, having been in the same team as Neil on several occasions and having kept in touch over the years.   An absolute superstar, and, as ever, thanks Neil for your support.  

National High Performance Coach, Euan Burton, was running a training workshop for the U23 Squad the same weekend. I sat in with the players during the sport psychologist, James Austin’s session.    Many of you will remember him as a fine GB Judoka. It was all about controlling your nerves before matches, how to build this into your preparation and how to cope in a competitive and productive way to enhance your chances of winning a match. I found it absolutely fascinating – definitely something I would have valued as a player back in the day. I’d highly recommend the session if you get the opportunity, and thanks to Euan for the invite. 

It’s really important as an organisation we continue to upskill and evolve.  And, on 4th June JudoScotland Staff and Board members got together to take part in a course covering ‘Low Level Concerns’. I’d previously been on the same course earlier in the year and, again, found it invaluable. I hope that the team derived as much benefit as I did.   

On 18th June, Judith and I were invited to the British Judo Board of Directors meeting in Walsall.   It’s really important that we have a joined up pathway if all our Home Nations are to move forward successfully. I’d like to thank the Chair, Gerry Gualtieri and CEO, Andrew Scoular for their continued hospitality.     

And on that theme, on 19th June I caught up with Shohei Ono in the Royal Mile where we kitted him out in full Scottish regalia as we prepare to launch JudoScotland’s own kilt. It is fantastic for us to have such a high-profile player in our ranks, and our thanks go to Shohei for supporting our brand and Scottish judo in general.   

We finished by going for a nice brunch and catch up.  Again, it’s important that we make our international guests feel at home and welcome in Scotland. Hopefully, he will always talk highly of his time and experience here and encourage more colleagues to come. 

On 25th June we had our Board meeting. The one topic I want to highlight is a substantial piece of work to upgrade the grading process and product…..watch this space for more info. 

The next time we catch up, the Olympics will have come and gone.  Judith and I will be there representing Scotland on a split shift – I’ll be there first for a few days, followed by Judith.  It’s really important that Scotland is at the top table, networking, forming relationships and maintaining the strong links that we already have with the IJF. I’ll give you an update on this in my next Chair’s Report and good luck to all of the GB team who are competing.   

At the time of writing, JudoScotland’s teams are preparing for the National Teams Championship at which there will be a strong JudoScotland contingence of supporters to cheer them on – best of luck to everyone who has been selected to represent their country. 

And finally, I wish every one of you a fantastic summer. 

 Marc Preston

6th Dan