Keeping tamariki active during lockdown has been a little easier thanks to Taranaki black belt Shane Wallacehoskin.
He’s been offering free martial arts lessons on Zoom as the country has moved through the Covid-19 alert levels.
Shane is passionate about stamping out bullying and says martial arts is a powerful tool for empowering tamariki.
“It definitely builds confidence, self-belief and for me watching that growth in a child is what makes this job even better. From a kid that’s walked in for the very first time, they’re stuck to their parent’s hips to a couple of weeks down the track. The confidence that you see in them is amazing.”
Families from across Aotearoa and Australia have been taking part in the lessons. Shane says the lessons have helped parents and their tamariki through the lockdown.
“It’s something that is positive that’s keeping them active but also learning the skills that will intentionally help them. So the feedback has been really, really awesome given that it’s a free service that we’ve offering because I wanted to be able to help kids and offer this for whānau because I know lockdown can be quite hard.”
Shane has worked at schools in Taranaki and Palmerston North and has seen bullying at every school he’s been to.
“So being able to offer this service to kids means they can empower themselves to understand what to do, how to help or how to help other people with what they’re going through as well.”