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Last night at training, Sensei Ron Bellwood informed Karateka of the intention of the YMCA to close the dojo and for the club to find a new venue from the 8th of June 2012, as it was going to turn the club facilities into office space.
As result of the move made by the YMCA, the club is to fight this to the wire with action and support from the community.
So far, the club seniors have contacted YMCA head office in London, Sport UK (who have given grants to the YMCA to keep clubs such as ours and others open to the community) and also local Councillors and the deputy Mayor have also been contacted.
With your support, we aim as a club to continue practising our art at the club dojo, as you could not better the facilities which we currently have there.
As requested by Sensei Ron Bellwood, the below is a letter which he has sent to the ward Councillor, which he wishes to share with you all.
Keep an eye on the blog for important and regular updates on this critical process.
Dear Sir Or Madame. If I could introduce myself as Ron Bellwood who has run the Wyre karate club formerly for W.B.C & latterly for the Y.M.C.A. for the last 22 yrs at Poulton youth & community Centre. We have established ourselves as a caring club catering for all classes, creeds & religions & also all ages. As you will probably know we have been given notice to quit the gymnasium where we train within the next month. The Y.M.C.A have given us an alternative venue & time which is totally unacceptable mainly due to the time element for young people.
All our instructors are volunteers including myself & all fees are used for the benefit of the club members & it beggars belief that in this day & age when we are trying to put over Good manners & etiquette to the young people the Y.M.C.A. decide to turn our hall into Office space. It can hardly be blamed on cutbacks as the recession has been going on now for three Yrs. I might also point out that the Wyre Borough council Received grant aid from Sport England several years back to keep the centre open for the furtherance of sport. I suggest this is their Remit. Our ratepayers who are members of the club have shown loyalty to Wyre Borough in the past to the tune of 22.Yrs.
I also might say we have been there longer than any other group & members have spent their own money equipping it for our own needs & also for any other groups to use if they so wish.
Poulton Youth & Community centre is exactly that & not just for office space. I'm sure when you leased it to them you envisaged, partially at least, being used for what it was intended. It could need someone to market the place properly. When I ask around no-one knows where the place is. It needs advertising.
Empowering young people & responding to the needs of youth in particular.( The Y.M.C,A, International motto.)
Thank you for listening I remain yours Sincerly. Ron Bellwood. Wyre Karate Ryu.