Former World Champion and Double Olympic Silver Medallist Neil Adams MBE to Support British Judo’s Elite Coaching Programme

The British Judo Association is delighted to announce that Neil Adams MBE has been appointed to support British Judo’s Elite Coaching Programme.

Adams, 54, is one of Britain’s best known judoka, having won the 1981 World Championships and Olympic silver medals in Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984. His illustrious career also includes seven European Championship titles, with the 8th Dan also being a 21 time British Champion.

He also has a significant coaching background having previously held the post of National Coach for Wales and Head Coach of Elite Development in Belgium, as well as past positions within British Judo including Olympic Coach in for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

Adams will provide significant international coaching experience to the organisation and is widely regarded for his skills on the mat throughout the world. He has also played a pivotal role in the development and presentation of the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) new testing rules, providing demonstrations at the first IJF refereeing seminar of the year.

Taking the post with immediate effect, Adams assumes responsibility for all elite technical judo matters and will work to develop a unified, world-leading, evidence-based, technical and tactical framework which will define the pathway for the development of British Judo’s elite players.

Adams will be working closely with recently appointed Performance Director, Nigel Donohue to create a performance vision and provide strategic direction to the team of coaches involved in the performance programme. He will also be tasked with creating and developing a coach education and development programme for the association’s elite and performance coaches, as well as developing and engaging the association’s aspiring volunteer, part-time and full-time performance coaches through a clear coach education pathway and a series of performance seminars and workshops.

British Judo Chairman, Kerrith Brown, commented: “I’m delighted we’ve managed to secure Neil’s services and I feel that we’re well on the way to building a winning British team for 2016, 2020 and beyond.

“I view it as another shrewd appointment that adds a lot of credibility to association, both at home and on an international level and in light of the current situation with IJF rules, Neil’s expertise, influence and interpretation in this area will prove invaluable, playing a massive part in our direction.”

“On a personal level, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be working with one of the best judoka of our time and excited about the prospect of what we can all achieve together.”

Performance Director, Nigel Donohue, said: “Neil is a fantastic appointment and his track record speaks for itself. He’s one of the most prominent judoka in British Judo’s history and it will be a real privilege to work alongside him.

“Neil is renowned for his technical expertise worldwide and his skills can have a significant impact not only on our elite coaches and those further down the pathway, but also directly with the elite athletes in our programme.”

Commenting on the appointment, British Judo Chief Executive Andrew Scoular said: “In Neil, we’re getting somebody with significant experience, expertise and credibility on the international stage.

“He’s widely regarded as one of the world’s best on the mat and working closely with Nigel Donohue, I believe we have a team that can deliver the success we all desire.”

Following the appointment, Neil Adams said: “I’m thrilled to be offered this opportunity and I’m fully committed to supporting British Judo to create an environment where athletes and coaches can excel and produce success on a systematic basis.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with Nigel Donohue and believe that together with his team, we have the ability to deliver a unified and successful programme for Rio and beyond.”

Adams is one of Great Britain’s most successful judoka and was the first British male to be crowned World Champion, taking the title in Maastricht in 1981. He also holds two Olympic silver medals won in Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984, when British Judo Chairman Kerrith Brown won a bronze medal. He also has seven European Championships to his name, one world silver, two world bronze, 21 British National Championships and a substantial number of national and international titles.

After retiring from the competitive side of the sport, Adams has spent over 25 years working in technical coaching roles alongside a successful career in media broadcasting.  His coaching career started with the British Schools Judo Association, before taking the post of GB Olympic Judo Team Coach for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He then took on the role of National Technical Advisor and National Coach for Coach Education for British Judo, spending five years in post.

Following this, Adams returned elite coaching, taking the position of National Coach for Wales and moving in 2009 to become Head Coach of Elite Development for VJF Belgium, as well as founding Neil Adams Effective Fighting, providing a range of coaching resources and services.

Throughout this period Adams dovetailed his coaching commitments with a successful media career, working with a range of organisations including the BBC, ESPN, Eurosport and Channel 4. Most recently, people will recognise his role as presenter for Judo at London 2012, giving expert opinion, analysis and commentary throughout the seven day event at London ExCel. Neil also provides TV commentary to the world’s premier judo events and also works as television sports commentator for the International Judo Federation.

Photo Credit: Jack Willingham, Fighting Films