Girls gain self-defence skills
■ Year 9 girls from Karratha Senior High School are not to be messed with.
In six sessions over the past three weeks, 30 students learned physical and vocal self-defence techniques under the tutelage of Renegade Karratha Mixed Martial Arts senior instructor Mick George and his fellow trainers.
In a hands-on exam last week, the girls showed Mr George, along with police and army observers, how they could ward off attackers after being pushed to the ground or pinned.
Mr George said his aim with the girls was to help build them as individuals and help them figure out who they were as people.
The classes were part of a trial activity for the school’s Goals 4 Girls program.
G4G started in 2013 with Year 8 and 9 girls, using physical activities to enable participants to develop self-management skills for their own benefit as well as that of the community.
The program has since expanded to other cohorts.
The idea to run self-defence classes started with a cup of coffee between Mr George and KSHS physical education teacher Keryn Eckersley.
Ms Eckersley was searching for a new challenge for students to engage with and was recommended to get in touch with Renegade Karratha, which has been operating in town for four months.
Beaming with pride, Ms Eckersley said the sessions had blown away all her expectations. She said the level of engagement Mr George had achieved with the girls was incredible.
“He’s instilled them with a sense of teamwork and taken them right out of their comfort zones,” she said.
“It’s so beneficial for any teenager.”
Ms Eckersley said in the beginning there were some girls who were tentative to immerse themselves into it.
However, in their graduation session, there were smiles all round and all the students were vocal in the exercises.
Acting principal Jennifer McMahon said working in collaboration with the community with the help of Renegade, police, and the army had added value to the school and the lives of the girls.
“The girls showed great engagement and most of all had fun,” she said.
With the success of the program, KSHS will look to expand it to other year groups.
For more information about Renegade Karratha’s tri-weekly sessions email renegadekarr firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karratha Senior High School students with their teachers, police, army, and instructors, after passing their practical tests.