Saturday marked British Judo’s 15th Annual Awards Dinner; it was a night that connected all areas of the judo community, providing the opportunity to celebrate the fantastic achievements in great company.
In addition to the presentation of the awards, the evening celebrated the success of the GB Judo 1972 Munich Olympic team, with team members Olympic silver medallist, David Starbrook MBE, bronze medallist Angelo Parisi and Eddie Mullen in attendance alongside 2x Olympic silver medallist and 6x All Japan Champion Yoko Tanabe and 3x World Champion Masashi Ebinuma.
Following the traditional welcome and toast to absent friends by our CEO, Andrew Scoular, the evening got underway with the presentation of our Junior Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards. Bradley Stoke judoka Ryan Rijksen-Salman and Tatum Keen took the honours after a year of hard work and dedication to training and competitions.
Moving on, we celebrated the achievements made by British Judo members across the country as nominated by their respective areas.
Congratulations to the 2022 Area Award winners:
- Northern Area Award: Respect Judo Club and James Michael Conroy
- Scotland Judo Award: Stuart McWatt (Snr), Billy Rodman and Gordon McCathie
- Southern Area Award: Isabelle Everest & Braydon Robus, Luke Preston and Lisa Rivers
- London Area Award: Ricky Haynes, Richard Glasson, Angela Dunn and Turan Kiani
- Yorkshire & Humberside Area Award: Roy Francis and Ben George
- Northern Home Counties Area Award: Martin Rance, Mark Fricker and NHC Area Officials
- Midlands Area Award: Paul Robinson and Previous Midland Area Committee
- Wales Area Award: Anthony ‘Kerry’ Pulvirenti and Peter Williams
- Northern Ireland Area Award: Peggy Magee
These awards recognised members who fulfil the judo values in all that they do with the winners selected for their commitment to improving judo in their individual areas.
Within the presentation of the 2022 Area Awards, we reflected on the vast contributions made to judo by the late Roy Francis. Close friend and British Judo Board Member, Neil Fletcher shared happy memories of his time knowing Roy and his commitment to judo in the area.
Our Kata Award winner, selected by the Kata Commission, Paul Jordan received his award for contributing massively to the improvement and delivery of Kata in his area.
Richard Stevens, our Police Award Winner recognised for his outstanding services to the Japan Arts Centre for many years and the integral support offered throughout the implementation of the clubs Tackling Inequalities project. A project that has seen over 100 children introduced to judo.
The Combined Services Award, presented by Major Jim MacKenzie celebrated the achievements of Colin Francis and Sarah Hawkes.
Our Female Veteran of the Year Award was presented to Danielle Batt, with the Male Veterans of the Year award being presented to Darren Dean and Julian Pae, following their hard work to ensure that veterans were able to access engaging sessions in Chester. Batt was recognised for her performance at the Masters World Championships, where she won gold, in addition to the support she has organised for Ukrainian refugees that she has met through her travels and competitions.
In our Club Recognition Awards we welcomed refereeing power couple Lisa and Martin Rivers to the stage, to receive an award on the behalf of Kin Ryu Judo Club, as the club were recognised for the opportunities they provided to officials and referees since covid.
The second Club Award winner was for Witley Judo Club following their vast growth in membership since covid and registering the most gradings following the return of judo.
Following the main courses the attendees were treated to an audience with our 1972 Olympians as David Starbrook MBE, Angelo Paris and Eddie Mullen took to the stage to share their experiences of those eventful Games.
The awards returned with Charlotte Jenman and Luke Davies being awarded Cadet Female and Male Athletes of the Year before Peggy Magee was presented with her second award of the evening, the Adaptive Award, for being a driving force for all things inclusion in Northern Ireland.
The Inclusion Award was awarded to Hamilton Judo Club following their recent extensive work around inclusion in their club environment.
The Female and Male Athletes of the Year awards were presented to Lucy Renshall and Daniel Powell following their successful seasons which have see them promoted to world number 1 and win the Commonwealth title, respectively.
Our President was on hand to present the Presidents Award to Denise Oates for her fantastic work in the Eastern Area. Denise has been involved in judo for a number of years and have been a competition controller since the year 2000. Throughout her years of service, Denise has offered opportunities for many judoka to take up the sport we all love.
The penultimate award of the evening was the Roy Inman award. An award presented to a female member for their positive contribution to British Judo. This years recipient, Susan Wright, picked up the award from President and good friend Ronnie Saez.
The final award of the evening was our Para Athlete of the Year and GB Judo Paralympic Head Coach Ian Johns took to stage to introduce our winner. A man who is the rock of the GB Para Judo team and earlier this year was promoted to number one in the IBSA world rankings – Jack Hodgson.