PARENTS say their children will be "devastated and distraught" when their karate club gets kicked out of a leisure centre.
Walthamstow Karate Club claims Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre assured them they would be allowed to continue using the venue following a £26million refurbishment.
The fitness centre in Chingford Road in Walthamstow was closed for two years before it was reopened last month by Olympic silver medallist Lutalo Muhammad.
Tahira Shah, whose two sons Mohammad, 17, and Farhan, 11, attend the karate club, said it is “disgusting” how the centre can do this to the children.
She said: “The centre promised us that we could continue with our Tuesday class and now they say we can’t.
“It is disgusting and unacceptable and I am absolutely devastated with the news.
“Rather than the children just sitting in front of the TV they are showing commitment to karate and it has helped their confidence.
“All the parents know each other and we are like a family and I know they would feel the same as I do.”
Rod Butler, who is one of the instructors at the club, said the centre’s manager told him the club can no longer hold their Tuesday class because a gymnastics class has been scheduled for the same time.
The 73-year-old black belt owner said: “We took part in the opening ceremony and now I feel like we are being disregarded and we have been deceived by them.
“It is very upsetting.
“The Feel Good Centre say they are a community centre but we are the community
“We keep the children off the streets and get them doing something creative and it is healthy for them.”
Although the group’s class on a Friday will be allowed to continue, Mr Butler said one session a week is not enough for the athletes, who compete in national competitions.
The club, which opened in 1985, has over 100 pupils, from six-year-old children up to adults.
The club were forced to use community centres across the borough for two years while the Feel Good Centre was being refurbished.
Liz Barton, another instructor at the club, said when the children find out their club will have to be closed they will be very upset.
The 50-year-old said: “The children are going to be so devastated and distraught when they find out and we cannot believe how this has come about.
“There have been pupils who suffered family bereavements and tough times and it’s been the karate and the friendships that keep them going.
“We waited excitedly for two years for the centre to open and now this happens.
“We are a real community family group and we cater for people of all ages and those with disabilities.”
The Guardian have contacted the Waltham Forest Council for a comment.