The Flintshire martial arts project helping young people develop new skills

A martial arts project in Flintshire is helping young people develop new skills.

North Wales Police and Crime Inspector Andy Dunbobbin visited Ysgol Treffynnon in Holywell on July 7 to learn more about how money seized from criminals is helping fund the Success for Life project.

This initiative uses martial arts to teach important life skills to children in schools and the visit allowed the PCC to meet the team involved to see how the funds were being invested and how the project is appealing to young people.

The Cobra Life Family Martial Arts Academy is based in Shotton, Flintshire and Founder Gavin Eastham created the Success for Life Children’s Educational and Development Program as a 12-week course that uses martial arts to teach important life skills to schoolchildren in their own school environment to teach.

The project received £2,500 from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Your Community, Your Choice fund to pay for course materials and a trainer.

Your Community, Your Choice initiative, also supported by North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) and North Wales Police, is entering its ninth year.

During this period over £400,000 was spent on charity and much of this was reclaimed through the Proceeds of Crime Act, using funds seized from criminals with the remainder coming from the police and Crime Commissioner.

The Success for Life program focuses on developing one of the following life skills per week: Confidence, Goal Setting, Self Discipline, Focus, Fairness, Responsibility, Conflict Avoidance, Teamwork, Kindness, Health, Positive Attitude, and Trustworthiness.

The program was developed by trainers, teachers and character building experts.

Classes are supported at home by parents and children who attend together and complete child-friendly life skills checklists to reinforce skills learned in class.

Once children have demonstrated the required effort and behavior inside and outside of their martial arts class, they are rewarded with certificates emblazoned with their favorite martial arts hero. Each session is held at the child’s school by a fully qualified and dedicated martial arts instructor.

Classes with Ysgol Treffynnon included a hands-on bolt-on session that implemented skills gained during theory sessions and honed them through combat drills.

Andy Dunbobbin, Police and Crime Inspector for North Wales said: I’m excited that funding from my Your Community, Your Choice initiative is helping teach young people new and important life skills while they’re active and connecting with their peers.”

“A critical element of my policing and crime plan is supporting and protecting children.”

“One of the best ways to do that is to give them the skills and insights they need to become independent and engaged members of society, with the confidence and self-discipline that martial arts teach.”

“The work of Cobra Life that I saw at Ysgol Treffynnon was a great demonstration of how we across policing, education and sport can work together to make a difference for our young people in North Wales.”

Gavin Eastham, Founder and Director of Cobra Life Family Martial Arts Academy, said: “I started my business when I was homeless. I went to the library, researched books on entrepreneurship, and drew up a business plan.”

“I wanted to focus my business on martial arts, but I wanted to focus on the philosophies that underlie the roots of accomplished martial arts—skills like enhancing confidence, focus, and self-discipline. That’s how I came across Success for Life.”

“I now work closely with local schools and youth organizations across the region, teaching these programs and regularly updating parents/carers on student progress.”

“I have found the courage and determination to do all of this through martial arts and what it has done for me since I took it up as a child.”

“My mission is to pass on that same courage and determination to our children. To instill the same values ​​and beliefs as they move into adulthood. I am grateful to the Commissioner and PACT for the funding that has enabled me to expand this program.”

Mr Rob Chesters, Senior Care, Support and Guidance Teacher, Ysgol Treffynnon, said Ysgol Treffynnon’s children “really enjoyed the course and it gave them skills that they can use in other areas of life. It has also given them the resilience to be used in both academic and community settings.”

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