Official Opening July 10th 2011

After many many years of trying to secure a permanent judo facility Ford Judo Club finally realised their dream on Sunday the 10th of July, opening its doors at Westland Playing Fields in London Road. Councillor Curtin, head of Culture and Leisure cut through the ceremonial judo belt that was in the clubs colours. Also in attendance was Simone Callender, now retired from competitive judo. Simone competed at the highest level for her country winning several British Open titles, which highlighted with a Gold medal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Simone is now key a figure for LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) as part of the recruiting team.

It was a mixed mat session with the whole range of age and abilities taking part in Simone's session, they ranged from 5 years old right through to Mick Mayo who is 69 years of age. The club boast many National Champions over the years and and have won many International medals, Players in attendance Matt Kavanagh, Chloe Jackson and Dru Oakes have all fought for their Great Britain in European and Youth Olympics Championships, these are great role models for the very young players who have already set their first steps on the completive circuit and impressing other clubs with their range of judo. After Matthew Kavanagh's recent success in the Kent International where he overcome several top european players including the Swedish Scandinavian champion in the final to win Gold, the England selectors have chosen Matthew to represent England in the National School Games in September.

Senior Coach Bill Taylor who has been coaching at Ford for 27 years Commented "It has been a long and frustrating at times haul to get to where we are now but all the high hopes and let downs over the years have been worth it. We have a fantastic club and has a great structure within it. I would like to say A big thank you to Mike Kavanagh who found the flooring design on a website and together we got the fantastic mat area laid. Barry Jackson, John Debono and Nicky Jackson for their help, also young Mark for helping clear the old club, and Mike Allen who built the clubs websites, he has done a great job on both Ford judo Clubs and 1882 Judo Academy.
But the biggest thank you goes to Martin Stanton and Havering Council. All the meetings and emails that have been communicated over the years finally paid off and with this facility Ford Judo Club and Judo Education will reach heights we could have only dreamed of several years ago". Along with Ford evening sessions 1882 Judo Academy will be running its judo education programme from this facility during the day, headed by Taylor sessions are programmed to meet the needs of all ages and abilities. These include Special Need Sessions, toddler groups, schools and colleges. These sessions cover fundamental Movement, balance, coordination and general exercise. Judo comprises all the elements of fitness and these tailored judo sessions can cater for all levels of fitness and ability.

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