Girls gain self-de­fence skills

Pilbara News - - Education - Peter de Krui­jff

■ 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

Pic­ture: Peter de Krui­jff

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School stu­dents with their teach­ers, po­lice, army, and in­struc­tors, af­ter pass­ing their prac­ti­cal tests.

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