A few years back I was wondering how I could reach a wider range of students and provide classes based on Karate for their benefit. My idea was to create an inclusive club where everyone can participate and find something for themselves regardless of their status, ability or age and improve their wellbeing both physically and mentality.
This idea was supported by a very special group of people led by Ms Samantha Hutchison, with the involvement of community wardens Tracy James and Garry Jones.
They have all patiently listened to my ideas and explained the procedures for applying for funding along with all of the terms and conditions. All of this work resulted in the award of two grants from Project Aspire – one for a senior exercise club at Merrow and the second for an inclusive Karate club at Queen Elizabeth Park.
With the support of Project Aspire we have managed to start up and build not only exercises groups but community hubs for a vast spectrum of people. Members of these clubs include adults of all ages from 18 to over 80, with all enjoying the beautiful art of Karate. Students with autism, multiple sclerosis, hearing impairment, physical disability and ill mental health are reaping the benefits of physical activity in a non-judgmental environment improving their skills, confidence and self-worth.
Thanks to the openness and good will of the Project Aspire team these clubs have been able to improve social interaction and provide support to the community within Guildford, promoting a healthy lifestyle. This demonstrates that with a little support from local authorities at a grass roots level direct help can be provided to people improving their quality of life and creating a sense of community.