Submitted by Sandra Hewson, Burnaby Judo club, 2nd Vice President Judo BC
I was privileged to meet and workout with judoka from many Commonwealth countries while in Wales a few weeks ago. One night I went out with some South African Masters judoka which included Dave Pike who recently moved from Johannesburg to East London SA and is setting up a dojo for the under-privileged kids in his area. These children live so basically and have little but could benefit so much from being in the judo community.
These are Dave’s words to his former Sensei on setting up his new dojo -
“In the Eastern Cape where I am based, we are the poorest province and not without reason. Our unemployment rate is exceptionally high and the previously disadvantaged dominate our demographics. Informal settlements (Shanty towns) surround us and poverty is everywhere.
However, the scope of talent is literally limitless. Judo is not an expensive activity and it would not take much to get a lot of kids involved and for Judo to grow. I am really excited about the possibilities in the Eastern Cape insofar as Judo talent is concerned. The Border area is well known for its grass roots talent in other sports such as rugby and cricket and there is no reason why Judo cannot follow the same path.
I can only imagine and dream of taking a previously disadvantaged child off the streets, to teach this child according to Judo principles and having this child one day represent our country. I feel if I can change ONE SINGLE PERSON for the better by doing this, it would all be worth it.
I would be personally funding a large percentage of the running costs and will be offering free lessons to any person that cannot afford it. There will be no discrimination in this regard. If someone merely tells me they cannot afford to pay a fee, I will teach them for free. No questions asked.”
These are some of his daughter’s words:
“I have no doubt that if my dad were to open his own club, he would run it like everything else in his life: with the voice of reason and the passion to succeed.
My dad fights for what he believes in, he fights for what he wants and most of all he fights for what is right. He doesn’t only take himself into consideration, or even just one person. He does what is best for the group, no matter what the circumstances.”
I found these sentiments straight away while talking to Dave and have thought since about how to help him. His biggest need is for gi’s for these people who can barely afford the basic essentials of life.
If you have a judogi that needs a new home (white or blue) and would like to donate it to this worthy cause there are several places to do this -
You can drop them at Burnaby judo club, Bonsor Centre (Club opens at 6pm Mon & Fri, 7pm Tue, Wed, Thur). There will be a spot for drop-offs at the Kamloops Provincial Championships (March 3rd). I’ll be at the BC Winter Games in Vernon, at Kamloops, or email me and I’ll arrange a pick-up.
I plan to ship them as a donation from the BC Judo community in as cost effective a manner as possible sometime in March. If you have any postal/shipping contacts that can help, please let me know. You can contact me at email@example.com.
Thank you so much in advance for your generosity.