Cash kickstarts martial arts group

Young people in Carsphairn have been successful in a bid to Dumfries and Galloway’s Youthbank to support their Tai Jitsu martial arts project.

The project was established by a local resident and martial arts instructor, Dave Birsdall, who was asked by local young people to teach Tai Jitsu.

The mats in the village hall, where training takes place, were old and inappropriate which restricted teaching and the group were held back. The young people applied for £750 as they desperately needed new mats to allow the training to progress and for them to learn and practice safely.

With their application successful and new mats ordered, the young people can now progress and have completed their first grading.

Dave said: “When I arrived in Carsphairn nothing was going on for the youths and they were so excited about the class starting and having something to do. On hearing we had been awarded the funding from Youthbank to purchase the mats we were all overjoyed and very grateful that there was an organisation that existed to help young people.”

Youthbank assessor Stacey Duff from Newton Stewart took part in the site visit to meet the group and recommended the group receive the full amount. She said: “I felt that they should get the money. It is a worthwhile group because young people are involved. They will get to learn new skills and self-defence is a really good skill to know.”

The Tai Jitsu group meets in the village hall on Wednesday nights from 6-7pm for children six years and above and 7-8.30pm for seniors. For more information contact Dave on 07547134276.

Dumfries and Galloway’s Youthbank is a youth-led grant giving initiative that encourages groups of young people to apply for money to put their good ideas in to action. Trained Youthbank assessors, who are young people aged 12-25, judge the applications, make site visits and have the final say on what groups get the money. The maximum grant amount is £750. For further information on Youthbank funding, contact Rhona Norris on 030 33 33 3000 (ext 61345) or email