A GALASHIELS judo stalwart is among numerous Borderers to be recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Rick Kenney will be awarded an OBE for his services to the sport.

And the 68-year-old, who is currently president of the Commonwealth Judo Association, says he is delighted.

He told us: "I was really pleased to receive the email – over the moon.

"I think it is also really good for our sport, which doesn't often get mention with the likes of football or rugby.

"It is not often you get put forward for something like this."

A long-standing devotion to judo

A Seventh Dan, Mr Kenney has been involved in the sport for around 57 years.

He has been a competitor, referee, coach and has been on numerous governing bodies.

He has run clubs across Scotland, was British Judo team manager at world and European championships in the early 1980s and was vice-chairman of the British Judo Association from 1997 to 2004.

And Mr Kenney was also involved in the discussions which resulted in the establishment of the Commonwealth Judo Association.

That led to the combat sport being included in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand – at which he was the coach and where Scotland got its first judo gold medallist, Loretta Doyle.

He has also served as chairman of JudoScotland and was vice-chairman of the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland.

Border Telegraph:

Mr Kenney said: "I have always seen judo as a hobby and I have made some great friends from the sport.

"I was told I was receiving an OBE a few weeks ago and was told not to say anything to anyone.

"After the list was released, I got about 450 likes and messages from friends on Twitter and LinkedIn."

Mr Kenney, who has worked as director of leisure in Inverclyde and as sport and recreation manager with Scottish Borders Council, is still an active member of the sporting community in the region.

He is also currently vice-chairman of Galashiels Community Council.

He added: "As well as the judo, we have our swimming groups and I am involved with ClubSport Borders.

"The last couple of months have been difficult for us as we haven't been able to do any judo or swimming.

"Hopefully we can return to normal soon – as these sports depend on competitors being able to practise together."

Here are other Borderers receiving an honour

  • Peter Stevenson (Selkirk) chief policy advisor for Compassion in World Farming for services to farm animal welfare (OBE)
  • Alexander Simpson Hogg (Eddleston) chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association for services to gamekeeping in Scotland (MBE)
  • Stephen Winyard (Peebles) chairman of Stobo for services to business and the community in Peeblesshire (MBE)
  • Caroline Brophy-Parkin (Hawick) for services to the community during COVID-19 (MBE)
  • Sophie Hamilton (Peebles) for services to the community in Peebles during COVID-19 (BEM)
  • Graham Wilson (Jedburgh) special constable, Police Scotland for services to law and order in the Scottish Borders (BEM)
  • Sharon McKendrick (Coldstream) store manager at Morrisons for services to the community during COVID-19 (BEM)