Funding needed to help club move forward
Published on: 04 Feb 2015
AN AWARD-winning martial arts club is offering free trials as part of a membership drive to help pay for its forced move to new premises.
The Elite Chung Do Kwan Black Belt Academy was based at the Pavilion in Page Park for 34 years.
But because the building is now being redeveloped, the club had to secure alternative accommodation.
Although a new home has been found at Exhibition House in Hayward Road, thousands of pounds are needed to fit the premises with underlay flooring and mats as well as covering heating costs and repairs. Businesses have come forward to help but the club will still be left with a short-fall. It has launched a petition asking South Gloucestershire Council to help out, saying their forced move is a “form of constructive dismissal”.
The club is also trying to recruit new members to help pay for the ongoing costs of being based in a commercial premises.
The academy, which will rebrand as the Elite Martial Arts Gym, is offering one month’s free training to men, women and children interested in taking up martial arts.
Chief instructor Andy Davies, 56, said: “In the Pavilion we had special underfloor matting but because of the way it was fixed and fitted we can’t reuse it, so that alone will cost £5,000.
“We’ve had sponsorship to get the new place up and running but although it looks really nice, we are down to bare essentials. There’s no heating - it’s like a fridge so it would be nice to buy a blower we can put on before training sessions. I’m having to use another gym’s changing facilities until we can rebuild a room for that purpose. We are trying to scrimp and save to get things done.
“We will be running full-time in February and starting new classes. We’re trying to recruit new members as there are lots of overheads involved in running and maintaining a commercial premises. Whereas before the council would maintain it, now I have to dip into my own pocket. We have the qualifications and the standards but we need more people if we are to survive. It’s a lovely facility but there’s a lot of work we still need to do.”
ELITE Martial Arts Gym chief instructor Andy Davies has organised a series of free sports therapy treatments to thank the community which has supported him.
Sports therapist Brad Poole will hone his skills at the new gym in Exhibition House, Hayward Road, on weekdays from January 29 to February 5 from 5-8pm.
The 30 minute sessions will be on a first come first served basis.
Brad, the son of one of Andy’s friends, has previously worked as a sports therapist at Bristol Rovers FC, Bristol City FC, Oxford United FC, Mangotsfield United FC and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.
Andy said: “As with all struggling sports clubs, many people simply can not afford to pay for professional sports treatment when injuries occur, as I experienced myself recently. “This is a chance for people to have access to some free treatment albeit for a very short period.
“Brad is moving to Norwich to study and work from February 8 so I’ve convinced him to provide some free therapy for a few days.
“It doesn’t need to be sports injuries as he is willing to provide treatment to the general public at our new venue as a means to help us promote our club and relocation.
“It’s our way of doing what we can to help the community.”
“The club is extremely grateful to Kellaway Builders Merchants, Express Keys & Properties, Westbury Inks, K N Office Supplies, Educational Funding Company, Pete Judd (Builder) and Downend Voice who have all come to the aid of the club and helped them to achieve the move to their new home”
Andy Davies, chief instructor
Andy, who has collected around 800 signatures on the petition, said he is looking at different ways to raise money including offering advertising space on hoardings at the club.
“We have some top competitors who train here. Every time we film them and put something on YouTube, the boards will be seen.”
The club provides tuition in the Korean martial arts of Taekwondo, Han-Kuk Mu-Do Korean Kickboxing, Hap-Ki-Yudo (a Korean type of Judo) and children’s Kickin’ Cubs classes.
Andy, a 9th Dan, is also looking to use his background in the forces to offer a programme based on military discipline, teamwork and coordination.
“It will be great for some of the kids. We want to encourage people to adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle, keep obesity levels down and keep people off the NHS.”
The club welcomes males and females from the age of four upwards. There is no upper age limit but anyone over retirement age needs a doctor’s note saying they are physical able.
To find out more about the free trial, call Andy on 0759 8505299 or visit www.chungdokwanmartialarts.co.uk
* Martial arts fans are being given the chance to meet Taekwondo Olympian Seelan Rengasamy at the new Elite Martial Arts Gym.
Joining Seelan will be former World Champion and ex-British team coach Stewart Armotrading.
Tickets for the Best of the Best seminar cost £15 for juniors and £18 for seniors.
Numbers are limited, so you will need to book tickets in advance.
It takes place on Sunday February 8 from 12noon-4pm.
Call 07598 505299 for details.