Stoke Mandeville Stadium has partnered with the Disability Karate Federation to bring Karate to the community with a new KickStart 100 project.
The project has a syllabus adapted for people with learning difficulties and for wheelchair users giving those with a disability the opportunity to participate in karate and work their way towards the coveted black belt.
Ian Seabrook, business development and marketing manager for Stoke Mandeville Stadium believes that karate can be used as a development tool for those with a disability and is delighted about the new partnership with the Disability Karate Federation.
“Karate is a lot more than just kicking and punching; karate is about the development of the person as a whole,” he said.
“We want to encourage more people with disabilities to start Karate and eventually become black belts.
“I am very positive about our partnership with the Disability Karate Federation and I am sure the new club will go from strength to strength.”
The classes on offer at the Stadium will be taught by disability karate expert Ray Sweeney, 5th Dan, with the organisation providing each athlete with a free karate suit, belt, license, and insurance, and the first three months of lessons for £15 ($24/€18).
“Recent research by Imperial College London has shown that karate stimulates significant growth in white matter and increase complexity of the brain,” said Sweeney.
“Karate is also well known for building self-esteem and self-confidence, which can be difficult issues for many people with a disability. We have athletes successfully learning karate with all different forms of disability including SLD (Specific Learning Disability), PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities), compound and complex disabilities, CP (Cerebral Palsy), missing limb, Visual impairment, hearing impairment, Down’s (Down’s Syndrome), dwarfism and wheelchair users.
“Karate is changing the perception of what disabled people are capable of as well as changing lives and we hope to encourage more people with disabilities to realise the benefits of starting karate and eventually learn to become instructors too.”
The classes begin on Thursday (November 15) with new members welcome throughout the project.
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Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. Inside the Games is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.