More than 30 clubs from across the country gathered together for the 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday 25 October that was held at the Britsh Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall.
Around 75 people from the judo community attended the event and were greeted by BJA President George Kerr, 10th Dan, Chairman Kerrith Brown and Chief Executive Andrew Scoular.
At the meeting everyone took the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the year and also able to offer constructive feedback and suggestions about best practice for the future.
The event followed on from a technical seminar hosted by the BJA’s Technical Director Colin McIver, 9th Dan. This qualified as a revalidation event for all levels. At the event Colin Draycott, Senior Vice-President, received his certificate for the IJF’s recognition of the award of 8th Dan.
Colin Draycott said: “I am delighted to receive a certificate for 8th Dan in recognition from the IJF.”
Chairman Kerrith Brown said: “The AGM went really well from my perspective. While we would have liked to have seen more clubs in attendance, those who were present were able to have a great debate.
“There were many questions from members about engagement from the British Judo Association. Overall 2014 has been a very successful year – one that has seen our athletes achieved success at the Commonwealth Games. We have built upon this success with medals at the Junior Europeans and Junior Worlds as well as competitions up and down the country. Our clubs are the lifeblood of the Association and we are pleased to have had a successful AGM in the Commonwealth year.
He continued: “The Association continues to strive for success in athlete performance; medal success has a major impact on our funding position with UK Sport our major funding partner.
“While the AGM was taking place, it was very pleasing to announce the successes of our junior athletes at the Junior World Championships in Miami: Ebony Drysdale-Daley winning silver, Jemima Yeats-Brown winning bronze by beating Lucy Renshall who was placed fifth.
“This is testament not only to the training and determination of the individuals themselves but also to the support along the performance pathway by British Judo Centre of Excellence coaches and support staff for all of our athletes.”
Chief Executive Andrew Scoular added: “I would like to thank our member clubs and members for their attendance at our AGM.
“This is an important event for British Judo and gives the BJA Council, Board and Executive the opportunity to update members on the achievements of the Association over the past year and outline our objectives for the coming year.
“The 2014 AGM saw the final stage of implementation of our governance arrangements. Rowena Birch and Mac Abbotts came to the end of their terms of office; only one Director position became vacant and Loretta Cusack-Doyle was elected.
“We look forward to Loretta’s contribution to Board debates as we face challenges on the way to achieving our strategic aims and objectives.
“We all appreciate that the 2012 London Olympic Games was a fantastic event; the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, I am sure you will agree, was as successful and the media coverage for judo was excellent. Our home nations athletes were very successful with 29 medals overall. Glasgow was confirmed as a superb venue and we followed the Commonwealth Games with a very successful 2014 European Open. Next April we are very much looking forward to the BJA hosting the European Championships the biggest event in the European calendar and a major qualifying event for Rio.
“Our membership figures are very important to the Association, particularly the 14+ category; our funding is largely based on our success in achieving targets set by Sport England. The early part of this year saw a decline in membership which has increased more recently, however, the fluctuation impacts on the income to the Association and the overall figure impacts on our funding.
“The Association has embarked on several marketing campaigns which will be fully rolled out to clubs and members over the next few months; the Association will endeavour to support Clubs wherever possible to increase their membership and ultimately the Association’s overall membership figures.
“The AGM also provides the opportunity for the membership to raise issues of concern to them; two issues were raised: Competitions, whereby clubs are organising events without consulting Areas; the Association does send out a monthly events calendar update and will try to help further by ensuring Areas are advised of any clubs events that are notified to us for inclusion on the BJA Calendar of Events. The membership also debated passionately the grading structure which will be pursued by Colin McIver, our Technical Director and Joyce Heron, our Coach Education Manager, with the North West Area, who offered to pilot the proposal they put forward.
“The AGM gives us all, the membership, Board and Executive, the opportunity to debate topics, issues and concerns fully and in detail and gives the Board and Executive the opportunity to explain the reasoning behind the decisions made. I would like to thank all present for their passionate contributions to the debates this year.”