Arun Aikido Club - Mats Disaster
My name is Tony Wilden, I founded the Arun Aikido Club in 1992 in Bognor Regis, West Sussex UK. It is a small independant dojo that offers aikido classes, self defence seminars, and private lessons.
In 2010 we moved to a new dojo training hall and invested in our own club mats.
Some of our adult members after a successful grading seminar in 2017
Photo above: some of our junior members from a recent grading seminar. Photo below: some of our members promoting the Arun Aikido Club at the Bognor Regis Carnival in 2017
In 2016 we decided to expand our mat space and ordered another 26 puzzle mats from the same supplier at a cost of £611. This was a large part of the funds raised from years of running a club.
Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo below we had issues with them. The 1st batch, the puzzles were not even cut. The 2nd batch, the puzzles were poorly done due to a cutting tool fault. Finally the 3rd batch were laser cut , but our supplier measured incorrectly and they were the wrong size.
After several months and 44 emails of attempting to expand our mat space, we realized it wasn't going to work out, and after returning all 3 batches we requested a refund of the £611 of club funds.
The refund was agreed and we waited to receive it. Unfortunately , we learnt that the individual had been ill for some time and he eventually refused to return our investment.
After several more emails we were forced to take him to the small claims court and won the case. A County Court Judgement (CCJ) was awarded for £671 , including court fees of £60 and we waited.
Sadly the individual passed away in 2017, and was in debt, so his family were unable to return our club funds. I messaged the club who were using the returned mats and asked for them back... they refused.
Out of respect for his passing and the feelings of his family, I decided to wait a year, before setting up this GoFundMe page. The £671 investment in mats was a massive loss to the Arun Aikido Club and represents about 6 years of club membership, admin, and training fees.
At least £600 of funds raised will be invested in new mats to increase space for our existing students, and add extra space to attract new students. We have a supplier waiting to take our order.
Any funds raised above this amount will be invested in our Aikido Training Grant Programme, designed for students who cannot afford a training uniform, membership, and monthly training fees.
Thank you so much for reading our story...
The instructors and students of the Arun Aikido Club would really appreciate the support of our family, friends, and colleagues in helping us to raise the funds to recoup our losses and expand our mat space.
Any donations, no matter how small will be gratefully received... Thank You!
When you donate, you can offer suggestions of tasks that you would like club members to carry out...
1 - number of breakfalls in one class... be reasonable :)
2 - a sponsored walk for Macmillan Cancer Support
Sensei Tony J. Wilden 5th Dan
Founder & Chief Instructor
Arun Aikido Club
P.S. To help get the word out, please share the following link to your Facebook Timeline... https://www.gofundme.com/aac-mats
We are nearly there, thanks to our wonderful family, friends, and colleagues. We need another push to get across the line, so please help us by sharing with your network of friends... many thanks :)
Arun Aikido Club - Mats Disaster has reached 53% of its goal. Thanks to Terry, Poplock and Mark.
Excellent response so far. Thanks very much for your kind donation. We are almost a third of the way to our target :)