Judo club copes with 'Olympic effect' thanks to Cestria cash grant
Published by Kelly Elliott for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Steve Makin, Director of Judo at the British Busen Judo Martial Arts Academy, which runs the Ouston Judo Club, with some of its young members.
A fledgling County Durham judo club has been given a cash grant from a local housing association to help it cope with a massive increase in demand following the Olympics.
Ouston Judo Club saw its membership jump from just six youngsters before London 2012, to 21 during August when the Games were held. In September a further eight young people from the village came forward wanting to join.
Now the club has received a cash grant of £700 from Cestria Community Housing, via the County Durham Community Foundation, towards the cost of 70 new judo mats. The mats will help the club provide sporting opportunities for more young people in the village, which has suffered from problems including unemployment and youth crime.
Steve Makin, Director of Judo at the British Busen Judo Martial Arts Academy which runs the club, said: “The Olympics had a hugely positive impact on sport in the UK, inspiring youngsters across the country to get fit and get active. We witnessed the ‘Olympic effect’ first hand with a massive spike in demand within weeks of the Games.
“At first we found it difficult to cope with the increased numbers. Put simply we didn’t have enough mats, and people were having to sit around and wait their turn at classes.
“Now with this grant from Cestria we have been able to buy enough mats for everyone who wants to come along and give judo a try. There’s a real lack of things to do for young people in the village, so the club offers a fantastic outlet for them.
“Taking part in judo is a great way to boost their self esteem. It can also help young people learn to work as a team and teaches them about commitment, discipline and respect. And of course it’s an excellent way to keep fit.”
Cestria made the donation to Ouston Judo Club through the County Durham Community Foundation, an independent grant making charity which brings together donors and good causes in the county.
Cestria’s head of corporate services Christine Scott, said: “Ouston Judo Club is an impressive organisation which is doing great work in the village to help provide a positive and healthy activity for young people to participate in.
“The increase in the number of young people wanting to join since the Olympics is really encouraging and we hope this grant will go some way to helping the club cope.
“We were particularly impressed that the club is very supportive of those who may find it financially a struggle to take part. The club provides help with things such as judo outfits, travel expenses and accommodation, making it a really inclusive organisation.
“It’s a worthy recipient of a grant from the foundation and we’re confident it will make a big difference to the lives of young people in the village.”