The premier Judo Club in Leigh
Formed in the lasting legacy of the 2012 London Olympic games, Leigh Judo Club has won accolade and support throughout the local community and wider areas. Since securing Sport England funding in 2012, following the construction of its purpose built dojo, the club has developed and grown at an unprecedented rate.
Beginning in a run down gym in the heart of Leigh, with Sport England support we were able to transform an unused run down room into a functioning fixed judo mat area with protective wall cladding for training. With international level players and a need for a NGB judo club in the area, the club was immediately seen as the premier judo club in Leigh and a leader in the local and wider sports club network. Within its first 12 months the club was nominated for ‘Club Of The Year’ and Head Coach Luke Brown successful in winning ‘Coach Of The Year’ at the 2013 Wigan Borough Sports Awards.
With board member changes at the start of 2014, the second year of the club saw new ideas, increased community engagement and increasing growth in junior and senior membership. This included the delivery of further Sportivate projects and various health initiatives including SpecFit increasing the health and wellbeing of our community. To cope with demand, new classes were added to our timetable including two additional beginner and senior classes as well as the completion of a new entrance way and changing facilities. With many significant changes the second year of the club, a number of successful club gradings and the start of the club’s competitive success. 2014 concluded with nominations for Wigan Borough Club of the Year’ in addition to a number of other awards with Founder and Head coach Luke Brown winning the Martin Lynn Special Contribution To School Sport Award and runner up Coach of the Year 2014, Volunteer of the Year 2014 Finalist.
Although the run down gym room gave us a starting point for the club, it also had it’s shortcomings such as an unsuitable entrance way, break-ins and leaking roofs. As well as temperature control and ventilation issues which resulted in the club having to close during periods of summer due to heat exhaustion and winter due to severe cold. As the club continued to grow exponentially in membership and with with limited room on the mat and the unsuitable facilities. The search for our future home to better suit our growing needs and demands of our community began.
Following a long laborious search over six months without success, we eventually identified a possible home for our growing club. Following meetings with Wigan Council and local representatives we were notified that Lowton Youth and Community centre had fallen into such disrepair and non-use that it would be put up for asset transfer by Wigan Council. The first of it’s kind, the asset transfer process process involved opening the opportunity for transfer of the far and wide for anyone to bid for the asset. Lead by our chairman, Leigh Judo Club prepared comprehensive proposals including a business plan, implementation plans and forecasts as well as a presentation and interview by a board and panel. In the face of stiff competition, Leigh Judo Club was successful and after a short period of planning we planned the day of the move.
Prior to the move we began to renovate our new permanent premises building a purpose built sprung floor, wall cladded matting and changing rooms. We continued to work hard renovating our cafe, sports injury clinic, recording studio and toilets as well as improving security and our car park.