Care home residents in a Scottish town have been awared yellow belts in taekwondo.
Residents at Collisdene Care Centre in Strathaven were trained by South Lanarkshire’s Sports Personality of the Year Stephanie Mackenzie.
The athlete, who has over 20 years’ experience in taekwondo and trained at the highest level, taught ten residents and one staff member in the martial art.
Ms Mackenzie has spent 12 years representing Scotland’s national team, winning multiple world and European championship medals and runs Odyssey Martial Arts in Strathaven.
“Taekwondo is for everyone, because it teaches us to use what we have got within us, and so it was a pleasure to introduce it to everyone we met at Collisdene,” she said.
“They were all so eager to learn and put in tremendous effort – achieving the yellow band belt is no mean feat and they all totally deserve to wear it with pride. I hope this now spurs them on to keep going and progress in tae kwon-do to their full potential.”
Collisdene Care Centre provides 24-hour individualised nursing care for people with learning disabilities, including physical and sensory impairment.
Provost Margaret Cooper attended a presentation at the facility and praised those who got their yellow belt.
She said: “It was a smashing occasion – literally, in this case – but what was even more fantastic was the achievement of everyone who achieved their yellow belt.
“In doing so, they hadn’t just had to take part, but had needed to put in hours of dedication and commitment to achieve an impressive level of expertise and knowledge. I can’t congratulate everyone involved enough.”
The idea for residents to take part in taekwondo classes came from the centre’s activities coordinator Rosie Brennan who saw it as an exciting opportunity to bring a range of benefits to enhance the residents’ lives both physically and mentally by promoting confidence, team-working and self-control.
She said: “We offer our residents a wide range of activities to suit all tastes and abilities and to help them develop themselves, such as the SQA level 2 in Modern Languages – French, which six of our residents achieved in August with the help from Lingo Flamingo.
“We can’t thank Stephanie, Abigail and Reece enough for the time they put in and the success they had in bringing the benefits of tae kwon-do to our residents and staff who had maybe never considered taking up a martial art or realised what it could add to their life.”
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