We are an award-winning judo club, extremely active in the local community, looking to create a home for our players and parents. We will give our judo family and the local community a fantastic space to train and relax and provide a community hub. The facility will include a purpose built sprung dojo, small gym, café and members' area.
We hope to offer Judo, Brazilian Ju-jitsu, Yoga and a Fitness space for parents and members.
We are passionate about offering judo to everyone, irrespective of economic status, helping players with free tuition via our scholarship programme and working with the local borough to provide free coaching and judo opportunities.
We love teaching the sport of Judo to as many children as possible. We have been teaching for the past 13 years in schools, gyms and squash courts and despite these limited facilities we have achieved national and international success. We have recently lost our most significant base due to the Covid pandemic - the school wants to mitigate risk. So the need to build our own base for our judo community is more important and pressing than ever.
Building physical and mental health and the resilience this entails is vital to our long term health, happiness and future and Judo is a fantastic way to do this. It will help us all through this pandemic and having a hub where we can come together to train, socialise and form community bonds will be more important and more relevant than ever before.
For us, Judo is much, much more than just a sport, it is a pathway to help guide children through the difficult moments in their lives. Its value-based ethos with the integral moral code teaches children the importance of honour, humility, empathy and courage and builds resilience and determination. These are key traits necessary especially in the uncertain times we have all faced during this Covid pandemic.
Financially, the pandemic has had a crushing effect on our revenue streams and this is why we need to raise the funds to enable us to complete our project.
Covid has not stopped us staying connected to our Core Judo families. During lockdown we set daily fitness challenges, started teaching judo to parents via weekly zoom classes and kept children engaged and active through zoom coaching sessions and HIT classes. We set up a Strava cycling and running club so the older players could map their progress and connect with each other and we had weekly team meeting calls so we could talk, discuss how they were feeling and map out training goals and plan sessions.
If anything, it has brought the club players closer together and has been a catalyst for parents and children to see the importance of judo in their lives. It gives the new Dojo project even more importance and that's why we will work tirelessly until it is complete.
Part of our proposal is improving the local area for the community, providing an outdoor fitness space and improved car parking for the many recreational users of Thorpe Green - dog walkers, walkers, runners, cyclists, horse-riders and everyone enjoying this lovely area.
The local community has been very encouraging of our plans, with over 80 letters of support, and we are hoping to become a hub for them as we look forward to welcoming new, as well as established members.
Local residents are enjoying seeing the once-derelict area being utilised and are looking forward to seeing the environment transformed, with the establishment of a wildlife area featuring a pond, insect hotels, bird and bat boxes and improving the stream that runs around the perimeter of our site.
The players, during the pandemic transformed the abandoned tennis courts into an outside gym to continue their strength and fitness training.
As a club, we are actively promoting judo in the local community and have been leading the way with several initiatives:
- Organising the Surrey Youth Games Judo Event for up to 200 children. This judo competition is run in partnership with Active Surrey and our club organise and manages the event every year which is free for participants. Before our club stepped in to offer to run this event, it was to be shelved; a requirement was for us tochange the format of the event so it better met the needs of the target groups.
- Free coaching for 40 children for 8-10 weeks in partnership with our local borough council so the players can prepare for the Surrey Youth Games.
- Helping coach at the local 'sportability' days run within our local borough. Helping children with physical and mental learning difficulties and providing a pathway into our club for those that wanted to do more judo.
- Core Judo Scholarship places within our schools judo program- offering free judo places to schools to be able to offer children with financial or behavioural issues to gain free access to our classes. This has helped children overcome self-control and discipline problems and children who otherwise would not have the financial means to learn judo. We currently have players on our Junior and Senior Academy competing Nationally and Internationally who have come through these programs and this is a huge sense of pride for us all.
We like to think of the whole judo community as one big family but on a microlevel, this is so true for our club. We look out for one another, whether it is the older players looking after the younger ones on the foreign trips to Poland, Holland or Belgium or the parents helping each other outside of the club. This is so important to us and that is why we cannot wait to see the players and parents, at last, having their own home and club base to develop and grow....
Our plans show how we are going to have a bespoke sprung dojo for martial arts and yoga, a separate area for changing rooms, café and an upstairs gym. There will be 2 electric car charging points and we will transform the wasteland into a lovely outdoor space, improving the ecological value of the site and rewilding the barren ground.
Much of the money raised will go towards the fitting-out of the club. It be spent on judo mats for the dojo, fitting out the changing rooms and creating an upstairs gym space with all the necessary equipment. We want to create a club that is welcoming and fit for purpose so all the money raised will go directly into improving the facility for the players and parents.
What better way to fight back against something that has caused so much disruption to our lives, building a community hub with sport and fitness at its heart. Our video below shows you how we intend to do this...