Helping disabled children at club

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A martial arts club that helps children with disabilities is looking for support amid concerns it may have to close.

Quest Taekwondo has recently relocated to St Thomas’ church hall, in London Road, due to financial reasons.

But, without much equipment at the new venue, the not-for-profit group now needs about £1,700 to buy crash mats, kick paddles and two target practice dummies.

They are looking for sponsorship support from local businesses.

Parents of one boy with a disability who attends the club spoke to the Standard to say they were concerned it would have to close if it didn’t get support.

Mark and Dawn Douglas said : “It’s brought our child on in leaps and bounds, and I know it’s helped the other disabled children who go there, too. It’s been great at building confidence, self-esteem and co-ordination – and for them to meet like-minded people.”

They added that not many parents of disabled children were aware of the club – but urged them to “give it a go”.

The club has 20 members, made up of adults and children – three of whom have disabilities, including one with cerebral palsy and another child with an arm disability.

The group’s trained para-taekwondo coach, Jason Featherstone, a black belt in the sport, said: “We have really built up the strength of some children – one young lad couldn’t stand when he first came to us. I put my own time into this club because I love the sport and I want to give something back to the community.

“We really hope people will support us. There’s plenty going on at the club. We have an Easter Games event planned for Boston and we have hopefully got one of the GB squad members coming.”

The club caters for all abilities and ages, with some students going on to compete in national championships.It meets on Tuesdays, 5.30-7.30pm, and Wednesdays, 6.30-8.30pm. For more details, or to support the club, call 07519 758889.