You may have heard us mention that this year marks 25 years of Court Lane Judo Club…
It’s a remarkable achievement, but it seems only yesterday that the Club opened at Court Lane Junior School.
The Club was founded by Roger Spreadbury, Jill Brown and Tony Brown, in April 1993. We all met in Cosham Community Association Judo Club, but decided that we wanted to run our own Cub, free from outside management.
Originally lessons were held in the Small Hall, with mats stored in a shed across the playground – it was great fun carrying them in the wind and rain.
We then moved to the Old Dining Room (now demolished), where we put away tables and chairs to lay mats, then put them all out again at the end of the session.
Sessions were then split between the Old Dining Room and the Main Hall, with an eventual move to the Main Hall when it was redeveloped with additional storage, and the Old Dining Room demolished.
In 1998 we were able to purchase new 2×1 metre mats to replace those we had started with, these mats are still going strong today. (We still have four of the original mats in storage…).
We worked closely with Roger’s other club, in Havant, and players were able to attend sessions led by guest coaches such as the great Roy Inman MBE and 1997 World Champion and four times Olympian, with two Olympic medals, Kate Howey MBE.