Judo New Zealand sent 10 athletes to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and came home with five medals.

That is a percentage of success only dreamed about by other sports yet judo does not receive a cent of funding from Sport New Zealand.

There is hope within the organisation that the outstanding medal haul will result in a change of attitude at the national funding body. But since Glasgow, the national judo body has wasted no time in following up the success by bringing to New Zealand one of the world's top judokas (judo practitioners).

Nina Milosevic from Slovenia, 23, is a seven-times national champion and the European under-23 champion. She has spent 10 days training with Tauranga Judo Club athletes of all ages, including Commonwealth Games rep Chanel Kavanagh, after a week holding coaching sessions in Auckland.


Tomorrow she flies to Japan to compete at the Tokyo Grand Slam, regarded as the most prestigious tournament in the world after the Olympics and world championships.

Milosevic hopes to be back next year to settle in Tauranga and qualify to represent New Zealand at the 2020 Olympics.

"I enjoy it here very much and am happy that I have been able to show them something new as well," she said. "I have trained some techniques but I have also learned a lot of new things here. European judo is at a higher level but they can still teach me some things, especially here in Tauranga.

"I am coming back next April hopefully to live here in Mount Maunganui. That is my plan."

A key driver in getting Milosevic here is Tauranga based Judo New Zealand team manager Murray Lin.

He says she has made a huge impact in the time she has been in Tauranga.

"Nina is an extremely talented athlete and combined with her work ethic and professional attitude towards training, will become one of the best judokas in the world," he said.

"Having Nina here is huge, not only for Tauranga Judo Club but for Judo New Zealand's elite athletes as well. She has a passion for coaching and mentoring younger athletes, but her extensive contacts in Europe could also be extremely helpful for the New Zealand judokas trying to qualify for Rio."