Judo Club building on the chopping block?

Tyler Clarke
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Instilling a positive moral code in city youth at little cost to the city might be reason enough for the city to maintain ownership of 2951 First Ave. W.


The Prince Albert Kenshukan Judo Club coach Doyle Ironstand gives a presentation to city council at Monday’s meeting, during which me made a case for continued use of the city-owned building at 2951 First Ave. W. 

The building is home to the Prince Albert Kenshukan Judo Club, which coach Doyle Ironstand said at Monday’s city council meeting is on the potential chopping block.

Similar to the Margo Fournier Centre, the city’s Judo Club building is up for review, with administration warning its tenants that it faces potential closure as early as next year.

City community services director Jody Boulet clarified after Monday’s meeting that no one has been ordered to vacate the premises of either building yet, but they have been forewarned that it is a possibility, pending council decision.

The warning was enough for Ironstand to make an impassioned plea at Monday’s city council meeting on behalf of the volunteer-run organization.

Founded in 1967, Prince Albert Judo -- now the Prince Albert Kenshukan Judo Club -- has been at 2951 First Ave. W. since 1981, he told council.

There are currently 40 members in the club, ranging in ages from six to adult.

Every student is charged with focusing on the moral code of judo, which includes courtesy, courage, sincerity, honour, modesty, respect, self-control and friendship.

“Through the practice of judo, our students not only learn the sports aspect, but above all, a deeper sense of well-being and a determination to become good role models and good people overall,” Ironstand told council.

The building is booked solid most of the time, he said, noting that local law enforcement personnel train on the judo mat area, which is rented by a 20-30 member Jiu Jitsu club.

From a logistics point of view, Ironstand argued that the city has very little to gain in divesting itself of the building.

The judo club has assumed most financial responsibilities related to the building, he explained -- expenses they cover mainly through fundraising efforts and rentals, all while keeping their own membership rates some of the most affordable in the city.

“With the exception of two or three repairs made to the old heating system and a leaking roof repair, this building has cost the City of Prince Albert very little over the past 30-plus years,” he said.

After Monday’s meeting, Boulet noted that the city’s cost to run the building is only a couple thousand dollars per year.

Ironstand said that he implores city council “to consider our heart-felt plea to continue use of the building that has been our home for so many years.”

“We are as important an institution in this great city as Diefenbaker House and the Prince Albert Raiders.”

Similar to the Margo Fournier Centre, nothing has been decided at this point, Boulet said after the meeting.

However, with city council set to make a decision during 2015 budget discussions later this year, Boulet noted that Ironstand’s presentation will prove to be useful food for thought. 

Organizations: Judo Club, Margo Fournier Centre, Diefenbaker House

Geographic location: Prince Albert

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Recent comments

  • Estelle Hjertaas
    June 25, 2014 - 20:34

    As a member of the PA judo club, I feel quite strongly about keeping this facility open. From my experience doing judo across the country, this is one of the best if not the best facility in the country in terms of mat size (two full size mat areas). This is a huge resource for Prince Albert, but also Judo Saskatchewan - I remember attending the training camp following the 2003 Senior Nationals in Prince Albert that was held at the dojo, as opposed to renting a space as is normally done. Given that the judo club has paid its own utilities and managed the use of the space for many years (and kept it full most of the time with the ju-jitsu club, correctional officers, conservation officers, and police officers), there would be no benefit to the city in closing it down, and considerable disadvantage to the city in doing so! I hope the city considers all these issues carefully.

  • Cole Manz
    June 24, 2014 - 18:49

    This club has played a very vital role in both instilling judo as a sport of this province, and a set of good values in youth. Judo teaches discipline, respect, and self control better than any school can. To allow the PA judo club to stay open would be to allow these values to continue being taught. To close the club would serve no purpose besides removing these values. This club is a home to athletes, coaches, and entire families. This is where they come to live, and reach their potential. There is no justice in taking that away from them.

  • Jim Wiens
    June 24, 2014 - 09:42

    I hope the city realizes how big of a roll this dojo has played in the development of this sport in this province. This is a club that has given back way more than it has ever used. Champions have trained there and good citizens have come to see what it takes to be a vibrant part of a community. Dont let this legacy end. The next generation needs a community group like the PA Judo Club more than any one before!