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International Award For New Zealand Judo Icon

22 September 2003
Press release

International Award For New Zealand Judo Icon

New Zealand Judo Federation president, Harry O’Rourke, has been bestowed with a Silver Medal for his services to the sport, both nationally and internationally, at a special International Judo Federation conference in Osaka, Japan, this month.

Mr O’Rourke, of Mt Albert, has been involved in Judo for 35 years, occupying many roles from chief club instructor to president. He helped form the Commonwealth Judo Association in 1984 and has been president since 1986. He was one of the sports commissioners for the 1990 Commonwealth Games and served on the International Judo Federation’s Audit Committee for 15 years. He recently retired from the executive of the Oceania Judo Union after some 26 years in the role.

As the Chief Executive of Waitakere City Council, Mr O’Rourke has also been instrumental in securing the City’s new sports stadium (currently being built on Central Park Drive, Henderson) as the venue for the Commonwealth Judo Championships in November 2004.

Waitakere’s Japanese sister city, Kakogawa, is particularly proud of Mr O’Rourke’s achievements in Judo and hold him in great esteem. A delegation from the City of Kakogawa travelled to Osaka to personally congratulate him on his award. The news also made headlines in their local papers.

“I feel very honoured to have received the award, but the honour is really for New Zealand Judo, not me alone,” Mr O’Rourke says. “There were many different people in many different judo-related organisations who have helped and supported me and they also deserve this recognition for their efforts.”


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