Sussex judo club may close if new home can't be found

Westerleigh Judokwai are urgently seeking a new home.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 12:15 pm
Westerleigh judo members pictured in 2019

Westerleigh Judokwai are urgently seeking a new home.

Members need a new training location because their current site at Claverham School in Battle is being redeveloped.

Sarah Haines, Westerleigh Judo admin officer, said: “We have been trying to secure a new location for some time, but because of Covid and other limitations, we have been unsuccessful and are now desperate to find somewhere before the club is forced into considering closing.”

Westerleigh is a successful judo club from St Leonards who have more than 100 members from the surrounding areas.

“We train three times a week, 52 weeks of the year and have been running for 25 years,” said Haines. “We are a great support to many members of the community are also the only judo club to have won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in 2015.

“Westerleigh has been closed since the first government lockdown, despite us trying to reopen for some outside sessions before the second lockdown.

“This was unsuccessful because of having no location to train, and we have been actively looking for alternative facilities for 13 months now.

“We have contacted lots of local community halls and schools, but all have so far not had availability or not been suitable for the club.

“We are looking for a generous size hall with storage for our judo mats.”

Westerleigh have a number of disabled athletes and they support children and adults with either or both physical and learning disabilities.

They have a high number of ‘looked after’ children’.

Haines added: “We are desperately looking for a new training location.

“For a club of this size and success it would be a great loss to the community if we were forced to close.

“We are asking for any help or suggestions; do you have a sports hall or community hall that might be able to help Westerleigh?”

If you think you can help, or know someone who can, contact Sarah by email at [email protected].com