The Dartford Judo Club was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on Thursday 23 March 2006, and has become a key coaching centre for the British Judo Association in advance of London 2012.

The £4.5 million centre is home to the internationally renowned Dartford Judo Club and was the first purpose built training centre to meet Olympic training standards since London was chosen to host the Olympic Games in 2012.

Designed to international standard specifications by make architects the Dojo, which is Japanese for 'training place', is the finest purpose-built Judo centre in the country, boasting two full-sized mats, space for up to 400 spectators, a fully furbished weight training room. Away from the sport the centre also includes seminar and meeting space, catering facilities and a social area.

Councillor Jeremy Kite, Leader of Dartford Borough Council, said the decision to build the stunning new centre was a significant step for the Council.

"This magnificent new home for Dartford Judo Club is the culmination of many month's work by the Council and our partners, but pretty much a lifetime's work by all those who have built Dartford Judo Club into one of the top sporting clubs in the UK.

This building is predominantly about judo and the wonderful people who compete and participate in it, at both the grass roots and the elite levels. I am enormously proud of what the Council has created here and it is wonderful to think that it will help to raise the quality of British Judo on the world and Olympic stage.

I want to offer special thanks to Ken Shuttleworth, one of the world's best and busiest architects, who agreed to say 'yes' to a little council with a big dream. Ken gave us the services of Matthew White, a brilliant young architect who has perfectly captured our vision for the dojo.

The whole raison d'etre of building a landmark facility for Judo is to highlight how sport in this country needs to have the best facilities to compete consistently at the highest levels. Dartford Judo Club has a fantastic history of success and this has all come from a small base in the middle of the town."

For more information about the club and its classes