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Judo club wins funding for Olympic demand

A fledgling judo club in County Durham has been given a cash grant to help it cope with an 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 £700 from Cestria Community Housing, via the County Durham Community Foundation, to pay for 70 new judo mats.

"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.

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."

– Steve Makin, director of Judo at British Busen Judo Martial Arts Academy

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.

Cestria made the donation through County Durham Community Foundation which brings together donors and good causes in the county.

"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."

– Christine Scott, Cestria's head of corporate services


New event for North East sporting calendar

The World Champion athlete Steve Cram, and London 2012 Paralympic Games gold medalist

Richard Whitehead, have been in Sunderland launching the Half Marathon of the North.

The Half Marathon is a new event for the North East sporting calendar and will be part of a major festival of running in Sunderland next year, alongside the Marathon of the North and the sunderland City 10k.

Richard Whitehead, one of the stars of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, set a new world record with his victory in the T42 200 metre final.

Olympic masterclass for Spennymoor students

Students of the Taekwondo Club in Spennymoor got the chance to train with the Olympics star Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

One of Britain's Olympic gold medallists has been in County Durham giving coaching sessions in Taekwondo.

More than 160 students - both adults and children - were given the opportunity to take part in a masterclass from Jade Jones at Spennymoor Leisure Centre.

The gold medallist from Wales made the trip to Spennymoor as part of a tour she is doing around the country, giving seminars to eager Taekwondo students nation-wide.

Jade Jones shows a Spennymoor Taekwondo student some of her moves Credit: ITV

The trip to the Spennymoor Club is also a special one as it is the former home of Jamie Abley, Jade Jones' sparring partner during the London 2012 Olympics, who is from Spennymoor and looks to be headed towards the Olympics in Rio in 2016.


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