Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Plans unveiled for 5m judo base

Judo
Top players and the community will benefit, the council said

Plans for a new 5m performance centre have been unveiled in Dartford, which is already home to a 4.5m Olympic standard centre for the martial art.

The British Judo Performance Institute would be built as an extension to the existing dojo in the north Kent town.

Dartford council has pledged support to the scheme, and will provide land to the value of 1.5m.

"The institute will be a hub of expertise," said Karen Roberts of the British Judo Association.

Scott Walker of UK Sport added: "It will be a great advantage for our leading Judo players to have a dedicated institute incorporating cutting edge facilities.

"British Judo's plans have put the athlete and coach's needs firmly at the heart of the proposals and it could have a significant effect on the potential of the sport as we head towards London 2012 and beyond".

Facilities in the institute will include space for coaching and sports science, a high performance gym and rehab area, a performance analysis suite, medical treatment rooms and offices.

Athletes will be able to stay there on a residential basis, and use the venue for day training and squad training camps.

'Perfect sense'

Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite said the town's existing dojo had made Dartford Judo Club "a beacon for elite players".

And the performance institute plans made "perfect sense", opening up opportunities for the community and some of the best judo players in the world, he added.

The council is contributing consultants' and architects' fees as well as land.

Alan Roberts, head coach of Dartford Judo Club said members would benefit from training, coaching and facilities, and a feeling of "really being a part of the build-up to 2012 and beyond".

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