18 June 2024


Loretta returns to Scotland for momentous presentation


Former World, European, Commonwealth and British Champion, Loretta Doyle not only gives back to the judo community through the European Judo Union and International Judo Federation through her expert commentary to a global audience, but also on a local level, delivering on a personal level in North Ayrshire to a group of ‘New Scots’ in judo.

Loretta is currently acting as the Paris Olympic Committee Project Director, managing the team preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympics in both judo and wrestling. Despite her huge responsibility in the upcoming multi-sport, global celebration, Loretta has great dedication to her Foundation.

Returning to her home town of West Kilbride, she is honouring personal commitments she made to the young judoka last year and her promise that she would come back to mark their latest gradings. Given her hectic schedule, it may seem like bad timing, but this work is important to Loretta, as his her purpose.

The judo legend runs the Loretta Doyle Foundation, which aims to enrich the lives of the disadvantaged through free judo lessons. In West Kilbride, she has seen immense success, particularly with Syrian refugee families who now live permanently in Scotland, away from their war-torn homeland, and have embraced the sport wholeheartedly.

Following the introduction of these young Syrian refugee kids to the sport of judo last year, which culminated in achieving their first red belt grading, attendance has soared with virtually all participants returning for more. The enthusiasm was so high that additional classes were introduced to cater to new starters and those showing significant progress.

These classes have been made possible thanks to Scottish Government Funding aimed at enhancing lives through improvement of mental health and wellbeing in the community.

A ceremony being held at the Garnock Community Campus this week will see Loretta award new belts and certificates from JudoScotland, marking the advancement of participants to higher grades, including some to the Yellow Belt level. This event symbolizes their journey towards achieving the prestigious black belt.

Joining Loretta in presenting the awards will be Susan Wright, director of JudoScotland and Head Coach at Clyde Judo, along with Rebecca Bradley, recipient of the Scottish 2024 Young Coach of the Year Award.

The awards ceremony promises to be a heartwarming occasion, attended by parents, carers, friends of the “New Scots,” and members of the local community. It will take place at 5pm this Wednesday, June 19th, in the dance studio at Garnock Community Campus.

The foundation extends an open invitation to all who wish to witness this inspiring event.

Author: Thea Cowen