Judo club fears future at Castle Hill Showground

THE future for Castle Hill's Budokan Judo Club — home to 110 members including elite athletes — is under a cloud.

The club leases the Horticulture Pavilion at Castle Hill Showground from Castle Hill and Hills District Agricultural Society, but is concerned its licence may not be renewed by The Hills Council and the state government before August 17.

If it is not renewed, the club, along with other community groups, will be forced to find alternative facilities.

Coach Rob Katz said he was "disappointed" with the council.

"We have had no direct communication with the council to date, although we are only a sub-lessee to the council via the [Castle Hill and Hills District Agricultural] society," Mr Katz said.

"We sponsor two teenagers from Iran who have recently come out of a detention centre and we provide them with training which they would otherwise not be able to do.

"We treat them like family, which is effectively what the club is.

"They are seeking asylum and hopefully will be able to stay here."

Castle Hill MP Dominic Perrottet said he would work closely with the Deputy Premier's office to have the licences renewed.

"The Castle Hill Showground is a great community asset . . . made so by the various community groups which operate from the grounds," Mr Perrottet said.

The council has allocated $140,000 towards a study for a plan for a leisure precinct at the showground.

A council spokesman said a decision on all licences would be made once that study was completed.

■ Click here to read last week's story, about Castle Hill Players, Nor-West Canine Association and the Castle Hill and Hills District Agricultural Society. They too say they are in limbo over the delay in having their licences to occupy portions of the showground renewed by The Hills Council, and gratified by the state government before August 17.

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