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University and British Judo celebrate milestone

13/11/2018
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The University of Wolverhampton and British Judo has celebrated the fifth anniversary of the association’s Centre of Excellence.

The centre was opened in November 2013 by Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis OBE at the University’s Walsall Campus.

The £1m facility was created after an independent performance review outlined the need for a centralised programme for the sport of judo in Great Britain. 

It provides some of Great Britain’s most talented Junior, Paralympic and Olympic judoka with a world-class fully integrated performance environment including a state-of-the-art dojo, strength and conditioning, sports science, sports medicine, educational opportunities and accommodation all on one site.

It is also home to some of the best judo coaches in the country including the Performance Director, seven Elite Performance Coaches and a World-Class Sports Science and Medicine Team.

Since the programme was launched, at Walsall, the sport has seen tremendous success resulting in:

  • 1x Olympic Bronze medal
  • 3x Senior World Championships medals
  • Several 2014 Commonwealth Games medallist
  • Multiple Grand Slam medals including Gold at the 2018 Paris Grand Slam
  • Nine Senior European Championships medals
  • 1x VI European Champion
  • 1x VI World Championships medal
  • 3x VI World Games medals
  • 7x Junior European Championship medals including two Junior European Champions
  • 3x u23 European Champions
  • 5x Junior World Championship medals

Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “We’re extremely proud of our partnership with British Judo and what has been achieved in a relatively short space of time as a result of the programme.

“When we first opened the centre on our Walsall Campus five years ago it was our ambition to develop sport at the University to support and drive performance and to have an elite sport offer on campus which could inspire others.

“The partnership with British Judo has firmly put the University on the map and we are pleased to say that a number of elite judo players have also gone on to study with us alongside their training.”

Nigel Donohue, British Judo Performance Director, said: "Since the British Judo World-Class Performance Programme moved to the Centre of Excellence in 2013 we’ve seen a fantastic level of success by GB athletes.

“Our judoka medal consistently at all levels and we believe there is more to come from these athletes.

“Our partnership with the University of Wolverhampton has played a real part in that success.

“We have a fantastic relationship with their Sports team and they have worked closing with our Coaches and the Sports Science and Medicine team in helping us get the most out of our athletes

 “We encourage our athletes to have a focus away from judo. A number of our athletes are students at the University and the support they receive has been really beneficial.”

Further information

Picture caption (Back from left to right): Dr Richard Medcalf, Director of the Institute of Human Sciences, British Judo Head Coach Kate Howey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Oakes, Chief Executive (British Judo) Andrew Scoular, Assistant Director (Estates and Facilities) Paul Davies, Performance Director (British Judo) Nigel Donohue, and Deputy Director of WLV Sport Bess Evans.

Foreground: Students and Judoka Eric Ham (21) and Acelya Toprak (20).

For more information please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003.

Date Issued: Tuesday 13 November 2018

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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