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Ideal home for martial arts

Masterton Judo and Ju Jitsu Academy head coach Simon Ogden [centre], assistant coach Dylan Armstrong and junior judo class members at the academy’s new premises. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Masterton Judo and Ju Jitsu Academy has a new home after Masterton Trust Lands Trust helped it to move at short notice.

The academy had to move from Body Rock gym in Queen St to make way for renovation and repurposing of that building.

The trust quickly responded to an approach from the academy and assisted them with their move into Nga Totara, the former Scout Hall on Ngaumutawa Rd.

Academy head coach Simon Ogden said it was a huge relief when the trust offered them use of the trust-owned building as a ‘dojo’ [place of learning] for their classes.

“If the trust hadn’t come to our aid we would have had to close or settle for a spot that is co-utilised, which would have meant constantly having to set up and pack up our special mats and equipment.”

Ogden said Nga Totara Hall was the ideal place for the academy, which has been running in Masterton for nearly a decade.

“We were incredibly excited when we saw the building as it’s perfect for our classes. It looks like the building was only ever intended as a dojo space.”

The trust is providing the academy with a concessional rent grant for use of the hall. Ogden said the grant would allow the academy to make their classes affordable for Masterton judo enthusiasts.

“We were blown away by the generosity of the MTLT concessional rent grant as it will allow us to continue to be a financially viable sport choice for children in Masterton,” he said.

“By keeping costs low, we keep the dojo accessible to all, regardless of their income level.

“Having the support of an organisation like MTLT is essential to minority sports like judo and martial arts like ju jitsu. Their backing really makes a difference for our members.”

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