Saturday marked British Judo’s 16th Annual Awards Evening; it was a night that connected the entire judo family, providing the opportunity to celebrate the fantastic achievements in great company.
Following the traditional welcome by British Judo CEO Andrew Scoular, newly announced Chair, Gerry Gualtieri gave his first address in his official position before handing the stage to outgoing Chair of 12-years, Ronnie Saez who thanked the judo community for all of their support during his term.
The first awards of the evening were for our Female and male Athletes of the Year, which were duly awarded to Birmingham Junior European Cup winner Charlotte Jenman and European Junior Championship bronze medallist, Luke Davies.
Northern Home Counties Barry Cottis was named British Judo’s Official of the Year following his tireless efforts and generosity within his community.
2023 has been a fantastic year for refereeing in British Judo. Lisa Rivers recently celebrated one year of officiating on the IJF World Tour whilst Archi Shrimpton and James McBeath were the latest referees to be promoted to IJF A level, the highest level in international refereeing—also Mark Waterhouse, who was awarded his Continental IJF B level at Malaga Senior European Cup.
The British Judo Referee of the Year award was presented to Neil Lawcock for his unwavering dedication to the development of referees.
The Adaptive Male and Female Athletes of the Year were awarded to Nikki McDermott and Stanley Walker following excellent years competing on the international circuit.
Jeremy Robinson was awarded the Kata Award by the Kata Commission for his services and dedication to Kata since he started judo at the age of 10.
The Cadet Male and Female Athletes of the Year were awarded to Irakli Goginashvili and Julia Marczak. Irakli was selected as Team GB flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the European Youth Olympic Festival, following a fantastic season, whilst Julia claimed gold for Team GB at those Championships.
The British Judo Young Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Isabella Maw who has dedicated much of her time to volunteering, not only within her club but wider events. Isabella was the youngest volunteer at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022 – aged just 14.
From the Young Volunteer to the Volunteer of the Year. Lorraine Millen was presented with this award following her thirteen-year dedication to organising the ‘We Will Remember Them’ judo competition, set up to raise funds for a number of charities.
The Male and Female Veteran Athletes of the Year were awarded to David Gibson and Natasha Glassford. Natasha recently defended her World Veteran Championship title in Abu Dhabi, whilst David organised a highly successful Scottish Masters trip to Japan earlier this year.
Jemima Yeats-Brown and Charlie Young were crowned Senior Female and Male Athletes of the Year, following stand out seasons which saw Charlie claim gold at the Rome European Open and Jemima finish 5th at the World Championships.
The Inclusion Award winner was presented to Kerry Tansey for her dedication to promoting inclusivity in the world of judo. Kerry has already been recognised for her efforts by the European Judo Union, having been awarded the Social Inclusion Award in 2022.
The Kano Way award was a new award for 2023 and signifies a person, or group, who has contributed greatly to the development of judo, exemplifying the judo values described by judo founder, Jigaro Kano.
The Kano Way award winner for 2023 was Jean Knowles who has been a flag-bearer and pioneer for female referees during her 60 years in the sport.
Evan Molloy and Kirsten Taylor were named Male and Female Paralympic Athletes of the year following outstanding years for the pair. Evan has won a number of medals on the IBSA World Tour, culminating with a bronze medal at the IBSA European Championships, whilst Kirsten has also claimed medals on the IBSA World Tour, having made the step up to the world stage in 2022. Kirsten too won bronze at the IBSA European Championships.
The British Judo Coach of the Year for 2023 was awarded to Danny Harper. Danny, who has been instrumental in creating an exceptional environment for judo at Craven Judo Academy, received nearly 20 individual nominations for the award.
The Club of the Year was presented to Patchway Judo Club. Patchway has had a profound impact on not only its members, but the broader community. The club is dedicated to fostering personal growth and actively encourages members to develop to further their skills. This has led to the club having an increase in coaches, referees and officials.
The final award of the evening was the Presidents Award. Awarded to an outstanding individual who has dedicated their life to judo, this years recipient has done just that. Kim Hicks has been the voice of British Judo events for many years and her voice has become synonymous with our sport. Kim exemplifies the judo values and represents British Judo on the global stage having also commentated at multiple Olympic Games.
Kim’s influence can be seen not only in her family but also in those around her, a testament to her enduring impact.