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

Hi Judo Community,

I can’t believe another month has gone by – and what a month that was with a National Grading, Level 1 Coaching Course, AGM and our flagship coach education event, The Gathering.

In fact, due to workload – and the fact that there were so many things going on – I decided to add an extra Board meeting in early October before our scheduled session on the 25th. We had lots to discuss and invited along our Vice Presidents who always bring great value and experience to the table.

At the start of the month, I caught up with Colin McIver at an Edinburgh café for our periodic bacon roll and chance to chew the fat! Imagine my surprise when there was a loud rap on the window and, when we looked up, Mark Brien, now Director, was there cleaning it! Have to say – he has a knack for always making things clearer 😊. And Colin – good luck with your new cocker spaniel pup.

Mid-month I had a good chat with Paul Laverty from Shettleston Judo Club regarding Chris Murphy who’s been selected for the Virtus Oceanic/Asia Games in Australia. I’m subsequently pleased to announce that JudoScotland will be supporting Chris on his journey, and I’m sure all of the judo community in Scotland will be wishing him well.

In advance of the vote for Chair/Directors at the AGM, JudoScotland brought in a new format event designed to help our members. It was called ‘Meet the Chair’ a modern-day, virtual ‘hustings’: a chance for people to meet and ask questions to the candidates. It worked well and is a format that we’ll be expanding and using again in the future.

And, at the weekend just passed, we had the AGM and The Gathering at Largs.

At the AGM, I was voted in as Chair for the next 4 years. Thank you all for your confidence. I can’t guarantee success, but I CAN guarantee hard work and commitment.

Thanks also to the other nominee, Johnny Imrie, for his gracious comments.

David Gibson and Mark Brien were voted in as Directors. And, at this point, I’d like to thank Sarah Clark for her long and valuable contribution to the Board.

And finally, congratulations to the recipients of the Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering award winners for 2022 you can see a full list of the winners here.

Coincidentally I discovered that one of the winners, Andrew Swinburne of Carnegie Judo Club (Technical Official/Referee of the year) is, like me, a keen falconer and flies a magnificent Harris Hawk! We’re trying to arrange to link up so that I can see his bird in action.

The Gathering was a great success. It would be remiss of me not to point out one notable ‘highlight’ – the karaoke where ex-world champion Graeme Randall, and our own Paul McGuinness, treated us to a lengthy set of classics! The only thing missing was a duet. Could they be our own, new Simon & Garfunkel?

On Sunday morning I thoroughly enjoyed being on the mat and learning from Masashi and Kana Ebinuma, they have an incredible level of knowledge, and it was a real privilege to be on the mat with two legends.

It was also great to be able to link up with Neil and Niki Adams. They’ve just announced the return of their fantastic Annual Charity Gala, which will run next September to raise money in the fight against Cancer and Diabetes. If you’d like to support Neil & Niki, tickets are now on sale here. I’ve been at a few of their Galas and can vouch for how great they are.

I’m delighted to announce that Robert Sneddon, who was on the board of Directors for many years – and a great support to me when I first joined – has just been awarded a lifetime membership of JudoScotland.

And, lastly, back to business, yesterday the JS team, including myself, presented our 4-year strategic plan – and funding request – to the team at sportscotland. The meeting went extremely well, and I’ll keep you up to date with developments.

Thank you to Judith McCleary and her team for one of the busiest and most productive months I can remember.

Marc A Preston