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Judo club, school enhancement society receive city grant

Only two funding applications received so far this year, compared to six last year
The St. Albert Tokai Judo Club originally opened in the mid-1980s. ST. ALBERT JUDO CLUB/Instagram

The St. Albert Tokai Judo Club and the Friends of Lois E. Hole School Enhancement Society are new recipients of the city's community capital grant, which provides non-profit organizations with funding to go toward renovation, expansion, or replacement projects.

The St. Albert Judo Club is receiving $28,995 to help refurbish its facility in Riel Park.

The facility, which opened its doors in 1990, is due for some TLC, said club sensei Mark Hicks.

“Of course, in that timeline, you have some degradation of your facility,” Hicks said. “We've tried to keep it up [but] we are a non-profit, so it's not like we're a club with a bunch of extra money to refurbish everything on a regular basis.”

“This gives us an opportunity to make a better facility for our students.”

RELATED: St. Albert teen attends World Judo Championships in Uzbekistan as contest prize

Hicks said the club is specifically looking at replacing the facility's floor, which in judo is called tatami, as well as the facility's lighting system.

“We're certainly looking at re-doing the floor,” he said. “We're looking at lighting and a bunch of things that just make it a more enjoyable area to work out in.”

“We're quite excited about it; it's going to really add to the quality of our workout area.”

Overall, the club's project is estimated to be $87,864, and Hicks said he's confident they will be able to drum up the remaining funds.

“We're comfortable that we'll be able to fulfill our financial side for sure,” he said. “We're a low-cost operation and we charge very nominal amounts of money for the sport itself — just enough really to keep the club operating and to help support some of our athletes that are competitive.”

The club has about 100 members, Hicks said, starting as young as three and up to senior athletes.

“You can do judo if you're young and you can do judo if you're old,” Hicks said. 

“It's a really good sport for fitness, it's a great confidence builder, and I think it can give you some really good self-defence skills if you really needed it.”

The Gazette was unable to reach a representative with the Friends of Lois E. Hole School Enhancement Society; however, a brief report council included in the May council meeting agenda says the $30,950 in grant funding the society is receiving will go toward expanding the school's playground.

The playground expansion's total budget is $93,788, according to the report.

Unlike last year, when the city distributed nearly $315,000 in community capital grant funding to six different organizations, the St. Albert Judo Club and Friends of Lois E. Hole School Enhancement Society were the only community capital grant applications received this year.

RELATED: Playgrounds, HVAC systems, and more funded through city grant

The community capital grant has an annual budget of about $250,000, and the city's website says grant applications will be accepted and considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the end of October.

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the St. Albert Gazette in May, 2022.
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