On a sunny winter Saturday at Nguaranui Beach, nine locals stepped up to do their first Grading for Kickboxing4Youth.
Enabled by the Raglan Community House, Kickboxing4Youth aims to provide a healthy space where youth can go to develop skills, confidence, physical fitness, and importantly a place where they feel a sense of acceptance and purpose.
Coach Jade Penn said, “Our club has a mixture of striving youth and adult mentors which creates a special dynamic in the club and a breeding ground for success. During grading day we allow our students to set their own desired achievement level.
Some want to move forward step by step, others in leaps and bounds. It takes a lot of commitment and courage to see through a traditional martial arts grading and everyone put their hearts on the line to do what it took to go home with the belt. As a coach I could not be more proud”
On Grading Day, three women and six men were put through their paces, and even though there were thoughts of giving up and some tears everyone passed. We now have two white belts, two green belts and five blue belts. That is a major achievement for a small club and is a sign of true momentum. After grading students really start to feel empowered and take ownership of the club.
“We are all excited to see where we go from here” said Jade.