Ealing Judo Club opened its doors on the 10th April 2003 and throughout its 12 year history the club has produced a Commonwealth Champion in Nekoda Davis and numerous judoka to British national squads.
A community centre in west Acton run by Ealing Borough Council hosts the club’s 140 members across its nine weekly sessions.
“We’ve been here a while now and club has outgrown the venue”, said Ealing Judo Club Head Coach, Jo Crowley.
“There aren’t adequate changing facilities here or S&C provision and the ambition is to move into a facility specifically designed for the club’s needs going forward”.
This would also include a permanent dojo area; at the moment Jo and volunteers at the club have to lay out and pack away the mats before and after every session.
That ambition is quickly becoming a reality as plans are progressing to move to a new purpose build centre near their current venue.
“Nick Shepherd [British Judo Regional Delivery Officer] has been working very hard with the Ealing Council to secure some facility funding, we have drawings from the architects and are in regular discussions with the surveyors and the council”.
Plans for the new facility include a permanent mat area, a strength and conditioning suite and changing rooms.
“The council funding and support we’ve secured so far isn’t enough for the venue specifications to make it useable and future proof. To get everything on the wish list that we are hoping for the total project costs are much higher than a community club, like ourselves, can afford”, Jo explains.
With a quarter of a million shortfall to make up, Jo started to look at other options to raise the funds needed for Ealing Judo Club’s new home.
“One of my first ideas was to produce a video for corporate sponsors. I’d then attach a supporting cover letter and send it out to the social responsibility departments at big companies that operate here in Ealing.
“But when I started showing the final video to people they were all saying: ‘why don’t you just put it [the video on its own] out there?’ and since I did that its spread very quickly”.
“The video has spread quite well and it has already got some international shares. The first few donations are starting to come in and others are requesting details on how they can donate.
The club are hoping to raise £75,000 towards the project, whilst conversations with Sport England regarding Inspired Facility Funding are ongoing.
Jo is upbeat that the club can raise the money needed and move into their new venue before the end of 2016.
British Judo Regional Delivery Officer Nick Shepherd is also optimistic about the project: “It will be fantastic for judo in London to have a permanent dojo that is accessible to the local community as there is a lack of permanently facilities in west London at the moment. Jo has been at the forefront of developing judo in the area and it would be great to see what she and the club can achieve with their own permanent facility”.
You can make a donation to help support Ealing Judo Club’s move to a new venue by visiting http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ealing-judo-club-dojo-quest.
Click here to watch Ealing Judo Club’s fundraiser video.