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