Children raise money for child mental health with martial arts competition

12:00PM, Sunday 07 March 2021

A martial arts instructor in Maidenhead has helped raise £1,265 for a children’s mental health charity via a virtual children’s martial arts competition.

Children’s Mental Health Week took place in February with the theme ‘Express Yourself’.

Neville Wray, martial arts instructor in Maidenhead, responded by organising a virtual event to raise money for YoungMinds, which gives mental health support and advice for young people.

Neville felt there was no better way to promote the ‘Express yourself’ theme than allowing young martial artists the opportunity to express their competitive spirits in an online competition. Held over two weekends, the competition saw participants in different age and gender categories show off their martial arts skills to a panel of judges. Competitors took part from around the country, with some judges attending from overseas.

Three of Neville’s students took part – all of whom train with the South East Martial Arts club at the Braywick Leisure Centre.

Within their categories, Nadine Phelps won a first and two second places, Rihanna Clements won a second place and Sofia Verney won two first places.

“The pandemic has bought contact sports to a halt and this has meant there has been no competitions since February 2020 for so many of our young athletes,” said Neville.

“They all performed really well – and parents were able to watch the exciting action from the comfort of their own homes, which made the event a special one due to the current lockdown.”

Neville is now working on the next event, to be held in April, with proceeds going to another children’s charity.


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