Statement from British Judo Performance Director Nigel Donohue on the launch of the GB Junior Elite Development Squad Programme.

I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Junior British Championships in Sheffield last week.

I thought the standard of judo was absolutely outstanding and the technical ability and fight from the young judoka was great to see.

I’d like to thank the parents and club coaches for all their hard work and hours they put into ensuring our young fighters have these opportunities.

As some of you may be aware, last week we announced the launch of the GB Junior Elite Development Squad (EDS) Programme

We are two years into the Tokyo 2020 cycle and while our immediate focus is on that landmark event, we are also looking ahead to Paris 2024.

We believe this is an exciting opportunity to focus on the next generation of British judoka coming through the pathway.

As we saw at the British Championships, there is real potential coming through.

We believe that the EDS Programme will help maximise that talent by creating a more focused centralised and semi-centralised programme for those up and coming fighters.

The aim will be to make sure our Junior judoka are competitive and challenging for medals at Junior European and Junior World Championships every year while also investing in their long-term development for Paris 2024 and beyond.

As part of the EDS Programme, they will have the opportunity to come into domestic camps at the British Judo Centre of Excellence and train and compete across Europe in some of the toughest Junior competitions on the circuit.

Those domestic camps will see them train with some of the best judoka in the world as well as supporting their preparations for the 2019 European Games, 2019 World Championships and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games

We also see the EDS Programme as an opportunity to work more closely with club coaches and as part of that we’d invite them to the profiling weekend and to the domestic camps.

We’ll also continue to utilise our Pool Coach Programme to give EDS judoka the chance to learn from high-class former judoka. In 2018 the Pool Coach Programme has seen us work with Ole Bischof, Haruka Tachimoto, Danny Kingston and Georgi Vazagashvili.

Tim Ellis, British Judo Performance Pathway Manager, will performance manage the programme, with the judo led by Colin Oates and Denny Roberts.

Invites will go out at the start of January 2019 to every member of the GB Junior Squad for a profiling weekend on the 1st and 2nd February.

For more info>>>

If you didn’t achieve a top four finish at the 2018 Junior British Championships you can submit a Co-Option Form application (please note: not all will be successful)

I personally can’t wait to see the EDS Programme get started next year. Enjoy your Christmas and New Year and look forward to seeing you all in 2019.