Today was unbelievable. I cannot say thank you enough to Mike Swain and Dollamur .
We have some great kids at Gompers Middle School and there are some great staff members at Woodcraft Rangers who provide us a lot of support, but until today, we did not have the greatest mats. In fact, they looked like this
Of course, when we do randori we have to keep to the center of the mats and we can only have 4 people practice at once because it's just not safe. I'm emphatic about that because that is what destroyed my knee when I was a teenager, getting it caught between the mats and then getting thrown.
Every 10 minutes or so, we have to get off the mats, push the mats back together, push the safety mats up around them, because, again, as you can see above, it all comes apart.
Sunday, I went to Riverside Youth Judo Club and a couple of very kind people in the judo community paid for us to take 8 of their used mats, which helped expand our usable mat area, and they loaded them into the car for me. I left thinking these must be the nicest people in the world and my week couldn't get any better.
AND THEN THIS HAPPENED ....
Mike Swain and Dollamur heard about our program and donated a TRUCK LOAD OF MATS !!!
Orange County Judo Training Center rented a truck and brought the mats to us, along with a lot of muscle from their judo club to unload and lay these out.
You better believe that our kids were more than happy to help put the mats down. Many of them came early because they had heard we were getting new mats.
Now look at it !
We still have more to do. As you can see, we haven't finished up putting up the mats on the walls for padding. The school plant manager is meeting with his supervisor from the district next week to get the blackboards taken off the walls and paint the room.
It's just becoming more amazing every day. A couple of the kids who came at the regular class time stopped at the door for a second wondering if they were in the wrong place.
All I can say is - thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you to Riverside Youth Judo Club, to Orange County Judo Training Center and most of all
THANK YOU TO MIKE SWAIN AND DOLLAMUR.
You guys made my year! I'm still smiling typing this.
And you know what else? We didn't have to stop practice and push the mats together even once.