The British Judo Association is delighted to announce the appointment of Nigel Donohue as Performance Director.
Former European judo champion Donohue, 43, learned his trade as National Coach with Judo Scotland, following a successful career as an athlete. He has worked with the association since 2009 as England Lead Coach and Great Britain Performance Analysis Coach and performed a key role in the preparation and delivery of British Judo’s performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Taking the post with immediate effect, Donohue will lead British Judo’s performance programme into the European Championships in Budapest on 25-27 April, followed by the World Championships in Rio in August.
As Performance Director, Donohue will be responsible for the overall strategic delivery of BJA World Class Programmes and establishing a performance vision in which British Judo’s athletes will thrive. The role will see him lead and direct the men’s and women’s programmes to achieve medal winning success at significant international competitions including the World Championships and Olympic and Paralympic Games.
British Judo Chairman, Kerrith Brown, commented: “In Nigel Donohue I’m confident that we’ve made a very shrewd and forward thinking appointment. Not only was Nigel a fantastic international athlete, knowing what it takes to compete at a high-level, but he’s also one of the best judo analysts in the world today, making him a great acquisition for us.
“Longevity plays a big role in the appointment and Nigel is somebody who we truly believe can step up and change the mind set and culture of our high performance programme, building a British team and creating an environment in which our elite athletes can excel.”
Commenting on the appointment, British Judo Chief Executive Andrew Scoular said: “I’m delighted that we’ve managed to secure Nigel as our Performance Director. He has shown great potential in his time with British Judo with the Great Britain and England programmes, where his input has been invaluable.
“The athletes, staff and many people around the association already know and respect him and I’m sure that he’s the right person to unify and drive the programme for a successful future.”
Following the appointment, Nigel Donohue said: “I’m thrilled to be offered the position of Performance Director. I always set very high standards for myself and in turn aim to develop a professional environment and systematic programme in which our elite athletes can thrive and continually achieve at the highest level, both in Rio 2016 but also in bringing through the next generation of athletes for 2020 and beyond.
“There is no doubt the role is going demand everything that I have and more, but hard work is the only way to be successful and it will be the same for everyone involved. Our success will be a team effort and it will be important to instil extremely high standards for everyone to adhere to.
“I am under no illusions of what this role takes to be successful, but the challenge ahead is what elite performers thrive on and I expect that all involved from clubs and home country programmes to the GB Performance Programme, will feel the same. It is going to be a huge effort to create the success that we all crave for British Judo.”
As a world-renowned athlete, Donohue was the 1995 European Champion and twice represented Great Britain at the Olympics in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 where he took seventh place. His other achievements include being the first British judoka to win the prestigious Paris Tournament in 1993, fifth place at the 1993 World Championships as well as a further two silver and one bronze medal in the European Championships.
He also has a wide range of National and International titles to his name including winning the Junior World Championships and Commonwealth Games bronze medal in wrestling.
After retiring from the sport, Donohue went straight into a coaching role, spending seven years with the Scottish Institute of Sport as Judo Scotland National Coach. He then went on to take the position of England Lead Judo National Coach, coaching Cadet and Junior athletes with responsibility for the technical direction, planning and preparation of the England programme.
Nigel also held the role of Great Britain Performance Analysis Coach, supporting the GB elite programme in the analysis of performance, providing feedback of data report systems and in-depth video analysis to the entire programme.
Nigel is also being supported by British Judo to study for a Professional Doctorate in Elite Performance at UCLAN University, which he will combine with his role as Performance Director.