President's Update - 8th SEP 2014


Dear Members,

For those of you who browse the JFA Website regularly, you will have noted the JFA have just finalized the appointment of the long awaited JFA CEO, Paula Ward.

This selection went through a rigorous process involving three members of the JFA Board and two ASC staff. There were a number of very worthy candidates interviewed, with Paula ticking all the boxes to secure this historic position.

Paula brings many professional attributes to the JFA table. Her background is not as a judo person but importantly as a top administrator and corporate identity. Skills that have seen her develop a company from scratch through to being involved with large corporation such as CBA and QBE.

She has also served on a number of Boards including the NSW Rugby Club.

I, and the Board would like to wish Paula all the best in this challenging role.

The timing of her commencement (Sept 29th) will also coincide with the opening of the new JFA office located in the AIS. The joint partnership with the AIS Combat Centre, Boxing and Judo has meant that we secure an office within the newly fitted out space dedicated to the Olympic Combat Sports.

Importantly, it gives us a much more visible presence within the AIS, and allows Paula, who will be working from the AIS, to have direct access to many other sport and ASC Administrators.

These are all big positives for the JFA in my view.

Another plus with the running of the JFA will be that the BoD's will now be able to move back from the demanding day to day operational processes, and let the CEO deal directly with the JFA Stakeholders, JFA Staff and the like.

JFA Fee changes.
As all the states have been informed, the JFA felt it was time to increase Capitation Fees, Belt prices and Grading Certificate cost.

The JFA is no different to any other organisation and must maintain financial viability. Our operational costs have risen and our members are demanding greater service in many areas especially in the legal and insurance fields. We, as a responsible board have had to look closely at our cost structures. Many of the increases have occurred in 2014. I also remind everybody that these are the first rises for almost 7 years and are modest. For example, kyu grade certificates rise by $2.00. There is never a good time to introduce these costs and your anticipated understanding would be appreciated.

Combat Centre Training Camp.
With the completion of the fit-out of the AIS Combat Centre comes a wonderful opportunity for Australian judo.

As negotiated by the Combat Centre staff, the Japanese Judo Federation have agreed to send a number of their top coaches, along with a strong contingent of Senior and Junior team members for a training camp being held from 26th September to 4 October 2014.

This training camp will be a first in relation to such a high ranked Japanese team participating and interacting with members of the elite Australian judo group. It will also be an opportunity for members of our Australian judo community to come and watch some very high level training.

Viewing the training sessions will be restricted to State officials so please approach your state body for endorsement. Dennis Iverson will take nominations from the State Presidents in order to make arrangements on available times.

Commonwealth Games and World Champs.
The conclusion of the Commonwealth Games saw our judo team with 4 Bronze medals.

Even though this was performance was slightly under the expected tally it doesn't detract from the effort all the team gave to achieve a result.

On behalf of the JFA Board a thanks to all the athletes, coaches and manager.

The IJF World Champs have just been completed with some amazing judo on display.

Australia sent a small contingent to this event in Hannah Trotter 52kgs, Jake Bensted 73kgs, Jake Andrewarthur +100kgs, Coach Maria Pekli and Manager Colin Hill.

I'm sure our athletes gave one hundred percent in their effort, which is all we can ask for on such a big stage.

With that stated, it must be noted that selections to our national teams will be getting tougher as a consequence of the ASC's commitment to the Australian Winning Edge (AWE). The JFA is committed to this program and outcomes, which directly relates to our current funding, and represents over 75% of the JFA's annual income.

The National Coaching Committee
After a call out to our judo fraternity this year the JFA Board selected three new members to the NCC.

Angela Deacon, Kelly Fong and Frankie Serrano, along with JFA staff member Dennis Iverson have now been given the responsibility of revamping the JFA's team selection process, which is in need of an upgrade.

The BoD's have the utmost faith in the three new member chosen, who have all been elite competitors at some stage, served as coaches or managers, and most importantly, been involved for long periods volunteering their time to improve judo at State or National levels.

OJU Continental Open
Plans are moving along nicely for this event with Luis Val leading the team to formulate what we believe will be a well contested international tournament.

It should be appreciated that the JFA have taken some calculated risks to commit to this event with the aim being a possible long-term commitment, should this tournament create interest in our region.

In 2014, the Continental Open will be held for senior female and male divisions at the WIN Entertainment Centre on 14 – 15 November 2014. The NCC will select a national team in coming weeks. It will be fantastic to give our athletes a home based, IJF endorsed competition to gain valuable international ranking points.

Annual General Meeting
Finally, I remind everyone that our Annual General Meeting will be held over the weekend of 22 – 23 November 2014 at the AIS, Canberra. The AGM will be straight forward, as usual, but we are planning additional activities as well to show, inform, discuss and update all members of key priorities and strategies for our ongoing development.

In conclusion, I thank our hard working directors and committee’s who continue to make great progress in positioning Judo for success in the future. I also acknowledge the strong support from our ASC representatives, particularly Andrew Pratley, James Ceely and Nick Holland. Special thanks are also extended to Dave Martin and Clare Humberstone from the Combat Centre. These groups of outstanding individuals are ensuring that Judo has every opportunity to grow in the future. Yours in Judo, Michael Picken President of the Australian Judo Federation.

Yours in Judo,

Michael Picken

President, JFA Inc.