31 Aug 2007

The recently reformed Chirk Karate Club in Wrexham is set to reap the benefits of a cash injection from the Sports Council for Wales which will bolster the number of the martial art sessions available to the area’s budding karate kids.


A lottery funded Community Chest grant of £940 will make it possible for the club’s leader, Ian Davies – a fourth dan black belt in the art form – to add a host of sessions to his current schedule at Chirk Leisure Centre in his effort to curb the growing anti-social behaviour trend in the area and to encourage people young and old to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Karate sessions were reintroduced to the Chirk area in July this year after a 12-year long absence. Mr Davies said he took the decision to reform the club after being encouraged by local councillors, community police officers and youth group leaders in the area.

However, Mr Davies said the club was about more than just getting youngsters off the streets and keeping them out of trouble.

"Karate teaches self-control through rigorous training, it teaches youngsters moral responsibility. Its philosophy is about how to control yourself and to become a proper person," he said.

"It can help a lot of people if they train properly. It will help you become a stronger person. We don't really give a strict age range but it is for anyone from five years and up. We hope people of all ages will come and train together.

"People can join if they want to get fit, they can join if they are interested in learning karate or they can join if they are interested in getting involved in the sport and working towards the belts or getting involved in competitions,"

Since the inception of the Sports Council for Wales’ Community Chest scheme in 1999, communities across the length and breadth of Wales have been investing heavily in sports and physical activity projects.

Indeed, in its short history, the lottery funded grant aid scheme has distributed over £250,000 to projects across Wrexham.

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling said:

"Community Chest has been and continues to be a huge success and is very popular throughout Wrexham. The increase in funding and the greater scope of the scheme will increase its effectiveness.

"Panels based in each of the 22 local authorities in Wales hold the purse strings and have delegated authority to award grants to worthwhile projects. We want to hear of bright ideas and projects that will get more people in the Wrexham more active more often."