By Duncan Mackay

Rick Kenney head and shouldersMarch 23 - New Commonwealth Judo Association (CJA) executive President Rick Kenney has made it his priority to help get the sport a permanent place in the programme for the Commonwealth Games.

Judo will feature at Glasgow next year but, because it is only an optional sport for organisers, it will not be part of the programme for the Gold Coast in 2018 despite the CJA having 73 members. 

"I look forward to developing judo across the Commonwealth over the next few years and am sure that the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will showcase our sport across the world," said Kenney, a 60-year-old, the former chief executive of Judo Scotland and vice-president of British Judo. 

Judo was a demonstration sport at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and made its debut on the programme at Auckland four years later, where it was dominated by England, who won 14 gold medals, including Elvis Gordon, winner of the heavyweight and open divisions.

It was not included again until Manchester 2002, where the winners included Scotland's Graeme Randall in the -81 kilogram category when Kenney was team coach, only to be ignored for Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010. 

"Scotland has a long tradition in judo at Commonwealth level stretching back to 1986 and I see a bright future for the sport," said Kenney.

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