Raising Future Olympians

Bradley Stoke Judo Club was established in 1999, coinciding with the opening of the Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre which has been its home ever since. It was founded by Steve Westlake and Nick Brace with the simple of ethos of “if you come through our front door, we will teach you judo and help you develop your skills to achieve whatever goals in the sport you may have”.

One of the first tasks was to formalise the club and establish a committee including a club chairman. Parents were approached and the first chairman volunteer was Pete Douglas. The committee of volunteers was established and the club were able to apply to be officially recognised by the national governing body of judo in the UK – the British Judo Association (BJA) – as a member club.

In 2001 it was decided to establish a standalone special needs club and again this was recognised as a member club of the BJA with Steve Westlake focusing the majority of his time and energy on this branch of the club.

Around this time, Pete Douglas successfully completed his coaching awards and joined the coaching team, with a main focus on developing the mainstream squads.

The club has maintained its initial aims throughout its life to date, welcoming members from a diverse variety of ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds as well as a variety of special needs players covering a number of conditions on the autistic spectrum, learning difficulties, behavioural difficulties, visual impairments, hearing impairments, amputees, wheel-chair users as well as various other conditions. As much as possible a number of those players with these conditions have been able to be included in the mainstream classes but those requiring additional support and attention have been catered for in specific special needs classes. We are also particularly proud of the number of female members that the club has.

From a humble beginning that focused on members just enjoying the sport and coming back the next week, the club has developed more and more competitive players that have been able to achieve a high level of success. This success has bred further success and we now attract players from not only Bradley Stoke itself but Swindon, Stroud, Cheddar, Weston-super-Mare, Salisbury, Cardiff and Newport.

Since it started, Bradley Stoke Judo Club has seen over 50 of its members gain a coveted black belt, whether they started with us as a raw novice, or picked the sport back up after time off.

In terms of competitive success we have seen a number of players achieve the following results:

·         National Age Band Champion – u12 (minors), Pre-Cadets (12-13), Cadet (14-16) Junior (17-20) Senior (15+), Veterans/Masters (30+) as well as several other medallists across the age bands

·         SN British Champion

·         European Youth Olympic Festival of Sport (EYOF) – Silver medallist

·         European Cadet Championships –

·         World Cadet Championships – Bronze medallist

·         IJF Euro Cup Cadet – Gold, Silver and Bronze medallists

·         IJF Euro Cup Junior – Gold, Silver and Bronze medallists

·         World Junior Team Championships

·         Brazil Invitational International Team Event

·         World Youth Olympic Games

·         Commonwealth Tournament – Gold medallist

·         World Grand Masters Championships – 5th place

·         European Veterans Championships – 2nd place

·         Sainsbury’s School Games – Gold, silver and bronze medallists

Bradley Stoke Judo club has regularly placed in the top 5 for results in GB National Championship results including being the top placed club in 2015 and having the most number of medals overall in 2016. The club’s success has led it to be granted England Centre of Excellence status in 2013, an honour only shared with Bath University in the west of England and only a handful of clubs nationwide, all of whom with a far larger membership than ours.

2019 was another benchmark year for the club, not only did we send 5 players to the European Cadet Championships (more than Wales and Northern Ireland squads combined) but also these same judoka qualified and competed at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Azerbaijan where BSJC member Tatum Keen obtained an outstanding 5th place.
If that wasn't enough for 2019 already, BSJC's Lele Nairne was selected to represent Great Britain at the world championships in Tokyo becoming the first player from the club to represent GB at a senior world championships. Lele won her first fight in spectacular style, so eye catching in fact that she featured in numerous highlight reels, before unfortunately dislocating her elbow in her second bout.
The cadet team were then chosen, alongside coach Pete Douglas, to visit Japan and train with some high quality judoka as part of the GB futures program.
In recognition of these extraordinary feats alongside the historic track record of outstanding performance, Bradley Stoke Judo Club was awarded a Performance Cub of the Year award at the annual British Judo Association awards.  As an added cherry to this already pretty tasty cake, Pete Douglas was recognised with a "gold award" as Talent Coach of the year, being recognised as out-performing his peers, many of whom are full time professional coaches. In addition, Tatum Keen and Ethan Nairne were awarded cadet girl of the year and cadet boy of the year respectively.
Bradley Stoke Judo Club is one of the United Kingdom’s most travelled judo clubs and athletes compete at varying level events across the world. We are looking to help develop our players at both the grass roots level as well as those already at or working towards elite level competition. To these ends we are seeking aid with funding in the following areas:

Elite competition players

One framework that is set are the rules and regulations made by the IJF (International Judo Federation) the sport’s global governing body. Some of the more stringent and costly aspects are the regulations regarding the type of judo uniform (gi), to be worn by players competing at the highest level as well as the type of belt worn, identification patches and official registration.

Athletes require two officially recognised and compliant judo gi (one blue and one white) and belts (which must be the same manufacturer brand as the gi).

In addition, athletes are required to have attached to these suits an officially approved back patch - denoting Great Britain as the athletes’ origin along with their name

Each athlete is also required to have registered with the IJF - this registration lasting two years to be provided with an official registered ID.

Bradley Stoke Judo Club are currently looking to assist 20 athletes who are at varying levels and ages, who attend European- and world- level events.

The costings for such are:

IJF approved Judo Suit – White - £170.00
IJF approved Judo Suit – Blue - £170.00
IFJ approved Judo belts (Blue & White) - £60.00
2 x Great Britain back patches - £40.00.
IJF registration for a two year cycle per player - £70.00.

As a result of the GB Futures trip to Japan, the club has established some links in Tokyo and are looking to organise their own trip to help both develop judo skills but also more widely educate judoka at a number of levels across different age groups. Currently all members wishing to take part will be required to self-fund and with flights, accommodation and food this is looking at around £1000 per person. BSJC would love to be able to subsidise this trip to make it more accessible to more members

Grass Roots/Community

BSJC would not be the success it is without an influx of new members to the club. To support this the club are seeking funding for the capability to provide new members with introductory judogi.

BSJC has no income stream other than annual membership fees for members and quarterly "judo festivals" that serve as an introduction to competitive judo as well as opportunities for players from BSJC and other local clubs to train together and most importantly have fun together. These cost around £250 to host and funding of £1000 would allow the club to host 4 of these festivals a year.48837548_1593075640515790_r.jpeg48837548_15930753928465_r.jpeg48837548_1593075865447287_r.jpeg


  • Devri Addison 
    • £15 
    • 8 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £50 
    • 8 d
  • Obi Wan 
    • £10 
    • 15 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £30 
    • 15 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £20 
    • 15 d


Nick Brace 
Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre, South West England, United Kingdom
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