Hizen Charity FAQ

1. Why does kendo need a permanent home? What’s wrong with existing sports halls?

Presently we meet twice a week in a local community centre, which is not ideal for study and practice as we often have to share the space with football and other activities which can be noisy and disruptive. We are, in addition, limited to only two time slots.

Our practice is barefoot and the floor is often dirty when we arrive, with dust, stones and other detritus carried in on other’s shoes and trainers. Time is lost having to clean it before we start due.

A large hall can make one-to-one teaching difficult as the noise from other activities dissipates any verbal instruction. Spoken communications therefore often have to be kept to a minimum. In our current venue there is also no natural light or air circulation within the building.

2. How would having your own building help?

We aim to establish a centre of excellence both in terms of the quality of the facilities and the quality of training on offer. For example:

Facilities: A sprung wooden floor would be installed and maintained to a high standard of cleanliness. This is vital for the safe practice of kendo, which is done barefoot. Permanent storage would also be available for specialist equipment such as armour (which is bulky and expensive to store at sports centre – even if they have the room).

Training: Over the last 15 years the group has produced 14 National Team members plus two men’s captains and one ladies’ captain. And this in the conditions outlined above! A national centre for kendo would provide us with a means of doing even better by, for example, providing high quality training on a daily basis and hosting seminars and workshops with top UK and international coaches.

3. What sort of venue are you looking for?

For the past two years we have been looking for a venue which would give us a 20m x 15m floor space for practice and additional space for changing and office facilities. Good ceiling/roof height would also be required. Within the current membership we have many skilled people willing help in the construction and refurbishment which would keep our costs down.

4. How would this help the local community?

Having struggled ourselves for many years with less-than-perfect venues, we are acutely aware of the needs of other minority and ethnic sports groups for spaces which, while large enough to allow free movement, are still affordable for small groups. It has always been a part of our aims to give something back when we establish our own venue by supporting its use by such groups.

5. How will it get people involved in sport?

Simply by adding a new sports venue to service the inner London community, we will be providing an additional route into sport for that community. However, as our focus is to support minority interest sports (which includes kendo) we hope to encourage participation from people who are unwilling or unable to participate in more readily available sports such as football, basketball, gym etc.

6. How can I help?

Do you know of a suitable venue? Do you have expertise in property management, property law, building conversion, sports hall management or fundraising? If you feel you could help, please email us at: info@hizenfoundation.org

And of course, we welcome donations from individuals and organisations. See Donations