The Judo Club in Pankisi Gorge is one of the most important and active places for young boys.
More than 200 boys go to the club daily to be trained by volunteer coaches and participate in competitions with their Georgian and Kist peers. This high interest is good, because maintaining an active sport culture is one counter to the fast spread of Wahhabism in the Gorge.
The high usage, however, requires facility maintenance which is difficult to fund. Last winter, the club grew too cold for activities to continue until the President Fund financed a heating system. This greatly increased the number of boys who attended, with some travelling from other villages to attend.
Our plan now is to once again increase facility attendance by adding hot showers. This will be a relief in the winter for those who must travel through the cold. It will also be good for hygiene and health to be able to wash after a long practice. We think these showers will keep excitement and interest high in the club, which is important for keeping our community strong.
A healthy lifestyle for youth is very important, and the Judo club is one of the few places in the Gorge which provides this. Equipping the club with showers will both be good practically, and maintain the interest of the boys in the club, perhaps encouraging them to keep sport in the future.
If the showers are funded, local youth, their parents and also the coaches will participate in the installation process.
Because the Judo club is the only building in the Gorge where the sport activities takes place and attendance is already high, we believe it will continually attract new members, especially if it can offer modern facilities such as hot showers.
Equal gender opportunity:
The Judo club is a place where young boys have the opportunity to listen to different seminars about gender equality. They use the motto "who will insult the women will fight with me."
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