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Our History

Newbury Judo Club traces its origins back to 1949, but with limited records from this period our more detailed history begins in the 1960s. During these formative years, the club was predominantly led by a dedicated brown belt judoka, Bill Hill, laying the foundation for the thriving community it is today.


Establishing a permanent home

The significant chapter in the club's history began when funds were raised to move to the current location in Almond Avenue. This effort was spearheaded by Jean Gilmour (now Jean Beagley), who played a crucial role in securing the land leased from Berkshire County Council. Initially a marshy field, the site was transformed through the collective effort of club members and their families into the club's permanent dojo. This monumental task involved planners, builders, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, all contributing to lay the foundations and construct the building, culminating in the club's relocation in 1977.

A Self-Sufficient and Community-Driven Club

Today, Newbury Judo Club stands as a self-sufficient entity, affiliated with the British Judo Association (BJA). The club's coaches, mainly Dan grades, generously volunteer their time to teach and guide members. A parents' committee contributes by running the kitchen, with profits going back into the club for essential items like crash mats. This sustainable model ensures all funds are reinvested into the club for continuous improvement.


Celebrating 40 Years of Achievement

The club marked a milestone with a 40-year celebration of its purpose-built dojo in Poplar Place, Almond Avenue. This event not only commemorated the physical space but also celebrated the dedication of coaches and members over the years. From staging sit-ins for land rights to achieving national and international judo accolades, Newbury Judo Club's story is one of perseverance, community, and sporting excellence.

Celebration of our Judo

Under the guidance of Head Coach Nicki Harris the Club had its first female National Gold medallist in the Minors division (10 years old) then 2 yrs later she achieved a Pre-cadet National Gold, this was followed a year later with a Commonwealth Gold. This was then followed with a Cadet Gold 2yrs later. She is now on the GB and England Performance Path. Over the last 12 years our boys have also had a National Champion as well as numerous Silver and Bronzes over the years and Commonwealth Bronze.
We have had representatives from the club on the GB and/or England Squad for the last 12 years. We also had one of the squad making selection for the SN (Special Needs) squad, again another Newbury first.

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Looking to the Future

With a new generation of red belts starting to compete and bring home medals, Newbury Judo Club continues to build on its legacy. Whether aiming for competitive success or seeking fun and fitness, the club remains a cornerstone of the judo community, welcoming all ages to unlock their potential, learn respect and focus, and build confidence through this great sport.

For those interested in joining or learning more about Newbury Judo Club's inspiring journey and vibrant community, reaching out via Facebook or contacting the club directly is encouraged.

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