With winter fast approaching and the nights now drawing in, members of Scunthorpe-based Judo Club Gooch Judo Kwai are looking forward to keeping warm in a newly-central heated premises, thanks to accessing funding from Sport England.
Last winter club members had to wrap up warm in thermals beneath their judogi’s but now they can enjoy judo in relative comfort when they reopen in mid-October, thanks to the accessing £61,000 funding as part of Sport England’s Inspired Facilities grant.
Last year the club applied for a £50,000 Inspired Facilities grant which they won, and then Sport England topped it up by a further £11,000.
The money has been used to transform their humble premises into a dazzling dojo with a new training hall, meeting room, wall to wall mats and a new reception, but most importantly a warm hall!
“Originally we wanted the grant for the central heating,” explained Tina Parker nee Gooch, who runs the club with her dad Len.
“But then we were able to access further funding to allow us to transform the layout of the dojo. “Now it is like a completely different club!”
Tina is a former International in the -48kg category and after her competitive judo career was stopped in its tracks due to injury she decided to open the club – naming it after her family name Gooch.
“When I was injured I felt a bit lost, and I realised, I couldn’t just stop doing judo, I needed to keep my hand in, and so I decided to start my own club. We went leafleting around the local estates where there wasn’t a lot to do and on that first opening night 13 years ago, more than 100 kids turned up. We haven’t looked back since.
“When we first started out in Judo we operated out of a little wooden hut,” she explained.
“We then moved down the road to the community centre and we have been at the current premises for over a year, without any central heating! Of course, we have managed and did what we could, but this grant has enabled us to completely transform the club. Thank you.”
Tina and Len were also nominated by their local community for a BBC Unsung Hero Award at last year’s Sports Personality of the Year which they won.
The club meets on Tuesdays and Fridays 6pm – 7pm ages 5 to 8 years 7pm – 8pm
ages 9 to 15 years 8pm – 9pm Adults only.
For more information email Tina on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07967102134. Alternatively contact Len on 07926538829.
Words by Donna Richardson.