Local judo club gets a new home

Louise Moir welcomes Stuart Sim to Mackie Academy
Louise Moir welcomes Stuart Sim to Mackie Academy

Stonehaven Judo Club has a new meeting place.

The club will now be based in Mackie Academy.

It puts an end to 18 months of uncertainty for the group, which had faced moving out of town after the beach pavilion was closed as a community facility.

The building was moved to Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed under Aberdeenshire Council’s community asset transfer programme.

It left a number of groups, including the judo club, searching for new premises.

Judo members have been welcomed to Mackie Academy by head teacher Louise Moir.

Chairman and head coach Stuart Sim told the Leader: “We are relieved to have sorted out a new home as there was a significant chance of the club having to move out of the town completely.

“It’s been a difficult 18 months trying to remain at the pavilion however, whilst it’s not a perfect move, it’s something that I hope will allow the club to grow.

“Moving forward, there have been positive initial discussions with Louise Moir about engaging with the school directly, something that the club is very keen to do.

“A big thanks to Phil Mills-Bishop who has actively supported the club over the last few months and has liaised with the council on the club’s behalf.”

Mr Mills-Bishop, a community councillor and co-ordinator of Stonehaven and District Twinning Group, is an honorary member of the judo club.

He said: “I am delighted to have played my part. Moreover, Stuart has pledged to do what he can to attach interest from his contacts in Japan to conclude a friendship with the new twinning group...which, as co-ordinator of that group, is very exciting news.”

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “Staff from across Aberdeenshire Council’s property and facilities management and area management teams have been working with Mackie Academy and the club to move them to the academy setting.

“The council will be helping with the move of club equipment and the first session in their new home will be on Thursday, September 6.

“A lot of work has been undertaken to make sure that the club can use the improved facilities at Mackie, and they have been provided with both term time and holiday period options.

“This will also facilitate a change of use and provides an opportunity for the local Men’s Shed to use the pavilion.”