Tributes have flooded in for two British judoka over the weekend as they celebrated being named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2020.
Scotland’s Richard Kenney was awarded an OBE for services to judo whilst former Chairman Densign White was handed an MBE for services to diversity in sport following his work with ethnic diversity charity, Sporting Equals.
Kenney has been involved in judo for many years now and has worked tirelessly at local, Scottish, British and international level of the sport to try and make a difference.
He has run judo clubs across Scotland for many years, holding down many roles along the way as well as being one of JudoScotland’s longest serving Senior Examiners.
Kenney was British Judo team manager at World and European championships in the early 1980s and was Vice Chair of the British Judo Association from 1997 to 2004.
In 1986 he was involved in the discussions that resulted in the establishment of the Commonwealth Judo Association and which also led to judo being included in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand at which he was the Coach and where Scotland got its first judo Gold medallist, Loretta Doyle.
He has been an enthusiastic member of the CJA Executive Committee since that time and after a number of years as Vice President, was elected as the President in 2013 – a position he still holds today.
Kenney said that he was delighted to receive an OBE in Saturday’s Queens Birthday Honours list for services to judo. “I’ve been involved in judo now for 57 years and have loved everything about our sport since the time I stepped onto the mat at the Motherwell YMCA judo club in 1963.”
“I continue to be amazed by the number of friends, judoka, coaches and volunteers worldwide who make judo such a great sport and vehicle to allow people to be all that they can be.”
White first stepped onto the tatami back in the early 1970’s and competed for many years for Wolverhampton Judo club and GB as an international player winning a World Championships Bronze medal, Commonwealth Champion, three European Championships medals and a multitude of domestic titles.
Following an impressive competitive career, White was elected Chair of the British Judo Association. A position he excelled at for 11 years from 2001 until the culmination of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
He then moved on to serve internationally as the European Judo Union Head Sports Director and has acted for 2 years as an executive member of the British Olympic Association. In total White has accumulated four decades of experience in judo under his belt, as athlete, coach and administrator.
White has since become the chairman of Sporting Equals, a United Kingdom charity that promotes ethnic diversity in sport, and a Council member of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance.