The number of qualified judo coaches in Hillingdon Borough has more than tripled thanks to a grant from the Mayor's Sports Legacy Fund.
More than 100 people aged between six and 60 learn the modern martial art and combat sport at Hillingdon Judo Club and Harefield Community Centre in Harefield and Willow Heart Judo club in Uxbridge.
Traditionally, they have been tutored by a team of three qualified coaches, who worked across the three clubs helped by a group of experienced volunteers.
Hillingdon Judo Club coach and black belt judo player Vic Webber said the small number of qualified coaches meant formulating session plans and delivery difficult, not to mention finding cover on holidays and sickness. It also limited the sport's potential to expand.
"Money was definitely a barrier to getting more of our volunteers qualified as coaches," the retired fire-fighter says.
Fortunately, the sport's London regional development officer heard about the Mayor's Sports Legacy Fund. Led by SkillsActive's National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure, the programme is part of the Mayor's plan, 'A Sporting Future for London'.
It provides up to 75% off the cost of training to increase the number of Londoners working and volunteering in the sports sector, and up-skill those already involved. All funding recipients need to do in return is volunteer their new found skills in their local community.
In late 2010, the clubs successfully applied to train four volunteers in the Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Judo and seven in the Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Judo. By the end of November 2010, Hillingdon will have at least 11 qualified coaches to deliver judo sessions. It will also be one of the first London boroughs to have almost all coaches trained up to Level 2.
Vic says the training was a positive experience for both the new and existing coaches.
"The impact it's had on the coaches and the clubs is huge. It's renewed the motivation for our older coaches and ensured we have enough qualified new coaches coming through to sustain good quality judo teaching in Hillingdon.
He is certain the funding will impact the sport beyond the 2012 Olympic Games.
"I feel confident at least one of the new coaches will open up their own judo club and allow more learners to enrol and enjoy the benefits of fitness, self confidence, self discipline and sense of worth judo brings."