11 Judo Players in New Zealand Best of the Country


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New Zealand is home to some of the best judo players in the world, making it one of the most competitive countries for the sport. Some of the best judo players from New Zealand have achieved success at the Olympics and other tournaments around the world.

These athletes have continued to push the boundaries of the sport by setting new records and pushing the limits of what is possible in martial art.

This article will look at some of the best judo players from New Zealand, highlighting their achievements and their contributions to the sport.

1. Moira de Villiers

Moira de Villiers is a world-class judoka, born in South Africa but now representing New Zealand. She achieved great recognition for her athleticism when she competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 70 kg event. Unfortunately, she was defeated in the first round.

However, she was determined not to be discouraged and kept up her training and dedication to the sport. This dedication paid off as she was able to win the silver medal in the women’s 70 kg event in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

This is a great achievement and serves as an inspiration to athletes all over the world who strive to be the best. Moira’s commitment to excellence and her determination to never give up, regardless of the odds, are admirable qualities that will stay with her for life.

2. Sydnee Andrews

Sydnee Andrews is a judoka from New Zealand. Judo is a Japanese martial art that focuses on grappling and throwing. In 2022, Sydnee won a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games for the women’s 78 kg weight class.

This is a major accomplishment, and Sydnee’s success highlights her hard work and dedication to her sport. Sydnee’s impressive win brings recognition to both her and her country.

As a judoka from New Zealand, she is a role model for aspiring judokas and athletes from all over the world. She has proven that hard work and dedication can pay off. Sydnee’s bronze medal is a testament to her physical and mental strength.

It takes a lot of commitment and discipline to become a successful judoka, and Sydnee has achieved that. Her success is a source of pride for her country, and she is an inspiration to many.

3. Jason Koster

Jason Koster is a judoka from New Zealand. He is an experienced judoka, having competed in various tournaments and events across the world. In 2014, he participated in the Men’s −100 kg event at the Commonwealth Games.

After a series of impressive performances, he emerged victorious, winning the bronze medal. This was a huge achievement for Koster and his country, as it showed the world that New Zealand was capable of producing world-class judokas.

His success also acted as an inspiration for other aspiring judokas in his country. Koster’s win was celebrated by his family, friends, and the whole nation of New Zealand.

He has since gone on to compete in other international tournaments, proving his mettle as one of the best judokas in the world.

4. Kody Andrews

Kody Andrews is a New Zealand judoka, a martial artist who specializes in the sport of judo. Kody is a highly accomplished judoka, having achieved success at the highest level.

At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, he won a silver medal in the over-100 kg category, representing his country of New Zealand. This is a significant accomplishment, as the Commonwealth Games bring together the best athletes from all across the Commonwealth of Nations.

Kody’s success demonstrates the strength of New Zealand’s judo program, and his own dedication and skill. He is a source of inspiration for other New Zealand judokas and a worthy representative of his country.

5. Tim Slyfield

Timothy James Slyfield is a judoka from New Zealand who has achieved a great deal of success in competitive judo.

He won a bronze medal in the 73–81 kg division at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and followed that up with another bronze medal in the Men’s -100 kg event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

He was also selected to represent New Zealand in the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney, though he did not win any medals at the Olympics.

Slyfield has demonstrated an impressive level of skill and dedication in his judo career, and his accomplishments make him a role model for aspiring judokas.

6. Qona Christie

Qona Christie is a talented judoka from New Zealand who has achieved great success in her sport. In early 2022, she competed in the Tunis and Algeria African Judo Open, where she earned a bronze medal and a fifth-place finish, respectively.

These results demonstrate her ability to perform at a high level in international competitions. As a result of her impressive performances, Christie has been chosen to represent New Zealand at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

This is a great honour for her and a testament to her dedication and hard work. It is a fantastic opportunity for her to showcase her talents on the world stage and to continue to pursue her dream of becoming a champion judoka.

7. Hayley Mackey

Hayley Mackey is an accomplished New Zealand judoka, who has achieved great success in the sport. In 2022, Mackey earned a bronze medal at the Tunis Open, an international judo competition.

This impressive feat of athleticism has led to Mackey being selected to represent New Zealand at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Here, Mackey will have the chance to demonstrate her judo expertise on the world stage, and potentially bring home more medals for her country.

Mackey’s selection is a great honor and is a testament to her commitment and dedication to the sport. It is also a source of pride for her country, as she will be representing New Zealand on an international platform.

Mackey’s selection to the 2022 Commonwealth Games is an exciting step in her judo career, and it is sure to be one full of success and accomplishment.

8. Bill Vincent

William Albert Vincent is a New Zealand judoka or practitioner of the Japanese martial art of judo. He has represented New Zealand in the sport at two Olympic Games, the 1984 Summer Olympics and the 1988 Summer Olympics.

In 1986, he won the bronze medal in the 78kg weight category at the judo demonstration sport event which was held as part of the Commonwealth Games of that year.

Vincent’s bronze medal is a testament to his skill and dedication to the sport and is a source of pride for both himself and his country. Vincent has trained hard to reach the level of success he has achieved in judo.

He has had to endure long hours of practice, physical and mental discipline, and intense competition. His dedication to the sport has been rewarded with his bronze medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.

This medal is a great honor for him and his country and will be a source of pride for many years to come. Vincent’s success in judo is an example of how dedication and hard work can pay off.

His story is a source of inspiration to many aspiring judoka and athletes looking to reach their goals. His legacy of success will continue to live on as an example of what can be achieved if one is willing to put in the effort.

9. Graeme Spinks

Graeme Spinks is a New Zealand judoka who has competed in the Olympics twice, once in 1984 and the other in 1992. He is a highly accomplished martial artist and has made a name for himself in his hometown of Christchurch.

As a martial arts trainer, he has helped to develop and hone the skills of many athletes. He has a passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge with others. His dedication to the sport has seen him become a mentor to many aspiring judokas.

He has not only contributed to the Olympic teams but has also been a positive role model for the youth of Christchurch. He has used his knowledge and experience to pass on his legacy to the next generation.

He has been a strong advocate for the growth of judo in New Zealand and has been a major contributor to the development of the sport.

10. Chanel Kavanagh

Chanel Kavanagh is an accomplished judoka from New Zealand. Born in 1995 in the city of Tauranga, Kavanagh was introduced to the sport of judo at a young age when her father, Kevin, began coaching her at the local Tauranga Judo Club.

Her dedication to the sport paid off when she received the opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland. Representing her country, Kavanagh was able to demonstrate her athletic ability and martial arts prowess on a global stage.

Kavanagh’s success in judo has been an inspiration to people of all ages in her hometown. Her story is a testament to the power of hard work and dedication and serves as a reminder of what can be achieved through perseverance and determination.

As a result, Kavanagh has become a celebrated role model in her community and an example for aspiring judokas everywhere.

11. Rick Littlewood

Garrick Lenin Littlewood was a legendary New Zealand judoka who represented his country in the 1972 Summer Olympics. He competed in the men’s middleweight event, showcasing his talent and determination on the international stage.

Sadly, Littlewood passed away at the age of 68 on 25 July 2018 in Auckland. Littlewood was a highly respected judoka in New Zealand, and he was well known for his incredible skill and competitive spirit.

He trained relentlessly to perfect his technique and was determined to represent New Zealand at the highest level. His hard work and dedication paid off when he was selected to compete in the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Littlewood put his all into his performance, and his presence is still remembered fondly by those who knew and admired him. Littlewood’s legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of the New Zealand judo community.

He was a great example of what it means to be a judoka and the dedication required to succeed in the sport. Littlewood’s memory will continue to inspire generations of judoka to come.


New Zealand has some of the best judo players in the world. These athletes have worked hard to reach their goals and have achieved success in international competitions.

The New Zealand Judo Federation has provided a great platform for these athletes to show their skills and to grow as athletes. With continued support and dedication, New Zealand judo players will continue to be among the best in the world.

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I am a judo coach and sports expert. I have been coaching judo for the past 10 years and have been in the sport for 20 years. My expertise is in judo, but I also know a lot about other sports as well. I am also an author who has written three books on judo. LinkedIn My goal is to help people learn more about sports, especially if they are new to it or want to pick up a new sport.