Work is nearing completion on British Judo’s new National Centre of Excellence which will be based at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Campus.
The Great Britain Judo Centre of Excellence is designed to create World, Olympic and Paralympic Champions. Established to deliver a centralised training programme for the Association’s junior and transition athletes, the centre will combine a state-of-the-art dojo along with educational and vocational development facilities.
All structural works have been completed on the former sports hall and lecture theatre including the installation of new windows and laying a sprung floor inside the new dojo.
Mats are expected to be placed down in the coming week and other interactive features tailored to the sport of judo fitted.
The final phase includes installing an open plan state-of-the-art gym catering to specific judo training requirements, with strength and conditioning areas and power racks.
The entire work programme which began on 12 August is due for completion at the end of October in anticipation of an official opening in mid-November.
The Centre of Excellence will be a centralised hub of British Judo’s high performance programme, a place where GB’s best players aged 17 to 22 can train and interact with national coaches on the elite pathway to excellence.
Furthermore, the British Judo Centre of Excellence will be the base for the new weekly National Randori session due to start on Tuesday 5 November.
These sessions are aimed at GB junior and senior squad players (14 and above), who live within a two hour radius, begin at 7:30pm and will run until 9:30pm and will take place every Tuesday.
They form part of the BJA Centre of Excellence programme, which involves an increased volume of randori on a weekly basis. It will provide a regular opportunity for GB National coaches to see up and coming British talent.
The BJA has been inundated with applications to train at the Centre of Excellence and is now looking forward to welcoming the first athletes through the doors on 11 November.
Chief Executive Andrew Scoular said:
“This is a very exciting time for British Judo as we embark on a journey towards the next Olympic Games. In the future this centre could produce us an Olympic gold medal winner. We are looking forward to the grand opening of the centre which will mark the start of a bright new future for British Judo’s elite athletes.”
Words by Donna Richardson.
More photographs of the progress are available on our facebook timeline.