Nottinghamshire Judo Volunteer and Clubs Awards evening a success

On Saturday 28th March Nottinghamshire Judo hosted its first volunteer and clubs awards evening since the county group was reformed in 2009. 

The awards were held to recognise volunteers that support the numerous events held in the county. Each Nottinghamshire based club was also invited to choose up to eight awardees from their respective club to receive awards as part of the ceremony. 

Over 70 awards were handed out during the course of the evening with honours presented for Dedication to Judo, Club Competitor of the Year and Overall Student of the Year and more. 

Nottinghamshire Judo’s committee member and event organiser Paul Keeton was surprised to receive a special gift as recognition of his 25 years as a coach. In addition to the award the venue doors opened to reveal a number of ex-students and their families who had been coached by Paul over the years. 

A stunned Paul said: “This was a fantastic surprise and totally unexpected, I am unsure how they managed to keep it a secret! It was already a fantastic evening seeing all of the Nottinghamshire clubs coming together, celebrating their achievements and enjoying themselves. The added surprise made the night one to remember. 

“To see so many people supporting our event makes all of the hard work worthwhile. Many of the Nottinghamshire Judo committee members were at the venue from 10.00am, decorating the venue, blowing up balloons and preparing the buffet. Some of them worked tirelessly throughout the day and night and without the commitment of these volunteers events like this would not be possible.  I would like to thank them for all of their efforts in making Nottinghamshire Judo what it is today”. 

Gary Barker paid tribute to his committee colleague: “Paul is a great asset to Nottinghamshire Judo, many of the events that are run in our county are organised and managed by Paul, and he truly deserves the recognition that he has received tonight.” 

Speaking about the event Jason Dutton, Nottinghamshire Judo Chairman commented: “This has been an amazing evening, we are so proud of clubs, players, volunteers and parents in Nottingham. In 2009 coaches from a few clubs in Nottinghamshire pulled together and now six years later we have achieved something like this, it is well beyond what we could have ever hoped for”.

British Judo’s East Midlands Service Manager Matt Watkiss was delighted with the event. “The Nottingham Awards dinner was a great success with over 200 guests attending. This is testament to the great work the volunteers at Nottinghamshire Judo are doing to not only create opportunities to compete and participate in Judo but also to reward this. 

“It was also great to see Paul Keeton get recognition for all his hard work over the years with 25 years of volunteering in Judo”. 

For more information regarding Nottinghamshire Judo including upcoming events please visit their website at can also follow Nottinghamshire Judo on Facebook at or on Twitter at @NottsJudo.