Lisa Allan has successfully been elected to International Judo Federation (IJF) General Secretary at the 2023 IJF Congress in Doha and in so doing joins an elite group of women within Olympic sporting federations. Allan is also the first British person to hold this prestigious role within the IJF.
Allan, who has held the position of IJF Events Director for the past 10 years and is also Head of Gender Equity Commission at the organisation, takes over the position from former World Champion Jean-Luc Rougé who has held the position since 2011.
Allan’s election to IJF General Secretary further strengthens British Judo’s position in world judo following the recent election of British Judo Chairman, Ronnie Saez, to European Judo Union Executive Committee.
Lisa Rivers was recently promoted to referee on the World Tour and is one of six British referees who are qualified to officiate the highest level in world judo following the recent promotion of Archi Shrimpton and James McBeath to IJF A referees.
When we look at the seniority of the Brits in judo we must also recognise the elite fighters, Chelsie Giles, Chris Skelley and Lucy Renshall who are currently ranked number one in the world rankings.
So, what is the secret behind the ascendence of British Judo and particularly that of British women?
Allan herself offers some deeper insight around the success when she talks about the values and standards that she insists on up holding. She is clearly a collaborator and when we asked her about her appointment she said, ‘I vow to listen to understand what the National Federations need and to support them from a place of transparency, democracy and integrity.’ This is a new language in the world of sport, which by its very nature tends to remain highly competitive, even at the executive level. This is a breath of fresh air, needed by all sporting federations to ensure they remain relevant, inclusive, and progressive in the modern world.
We asked British Judo CEO Andrew Scoular to comment on Allan’s appointment and he told us: “We are absolutely delighted that Lisa has been appointed, she will be an extremely positive ambassador for British Judo and the sport as a whole.
“I am really looking forward to working with Lisa in this role and offer her huge congratulations from everybody at British Judo.”
British Judo Chairman, Ronnie Saez, added: “We are all extremely proud of Lisa in her unanimous election to the role of IJF General Secretary. We are looking forward to working and supporting her in her new role.”