Taekwondo students in Maidstone are getting a kick out of a grant for new training equipment. Students are celebrating a £300 award from power infrastructure firm, UK Power Networks Services, which is going towards a new punch bag at the Family Martial Arts Black Belt School, based in Wharf Road.
Robert Patterson, UK Power Networks Services’ area commercial manager, applied to his employer for one of their Team Sport Awards to help the martial arts school where he trains alongside his daughter.
Robert said: “The school was thrilled. The cost of equipment is going up and the equipment takes a beating in taekwondo, so needs to be regularly replaced. The grant is going towards a punch bag on a stand, which can be punched and kicked.
“Everyone’s costs are going up and up and this allows the school to purchase new equipment without having to keep raising the fees, which in turn encourages more families to join the school, as newcomers are always made welcome.”
Grand master David Martin, the school’s master instructor, said: “We are so appreciative of the grant that we have received from UK Power Networks Services. Equipment has increased so much in price over the last couple of years and being aware of our customers cost of living also going up, we strive to keep our fees down, so this grant helps everybody that uses our facilities.”
The school welcomes all abilities and meets throughout the week at Wharf Road in Maidstone.
Robert added: “I joined the school in March with my daughter, who is seven. I wanted her to try a sport which was outside her comfort zone, good for coordination, discipline and to learn self-defence. I’m delighted she has really taken to the sport.
“People might think martial arts isn’t for them, but it’s for anyone. It’s great exercise, good for confidence, personal development and brings the community together. You compete against yourself to progress through the belts and get better.”
The company’s Team Sport Award scheme encourages staff to volunteer in the community, support grassroots sport, promote healthy living, teamwork and develop sports opportunities. Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. During 2022, 86 teams benefited from a share in £21,500.