Doncaster family sets up sports club to ‘share benefits’

Rachel Tollet in tae kwon do training
Rachel Tollet in tae kwon do training

Classes in tae kwon do, undertaken by a six year old girl to boost her confidence, led to a passionate new interest for her family, and ultimately, a new career for her.

 Her mum, Rachel Tollet, 51, explained: "My 16-year old daughter Charlie started going to tae kwon do when she was just six years old, after experiencing some bullying in school.

“Name calling was the start. Some pushing in the school playground, then she was punched and kicked occasionally.

“Names became offensive. Fun was made of her family – her dad has MS. She was filmed and photographed against her will on mobile devices, excluded socially and was often alone at breaks.

“Charlie spent three months off school at one point due to the trauma. It made her physically ill. 

“Tkd did strengthen Charlie's resolve and gave her a sense of self worth and achievement. She was able to eventually deal with her issues head on and stand proud and controlled with confidence when the challenge became physical.

“She worked her way up through the grading and achieved her Black Belt 1st Dan in October, 2012.

“We have now become a family of practitioners with Doncaster/Sheffield Tae Kwon Do.”

Charlie is now a 2nd Dan (October 2017) Black Belt and a qualified assistant instructor with the Tae Kwon Do Association of Great Britain.

She is also first aid trained, has all necessary D&B checks completed and will be doing further courses.

"My son Max started at just four years old and achieved his black belt at nine. He is now 10 and plays football while continuing with TKD classes,” said Rachel.

"I started at the same time as Max. The beauty about TKD is that it is never too late to learn.

"I had gone through assisting Charlie with the theory she had to learn for gradings over the years, so eventually thought I may as well join in.

"I figured it would be a way of keeping fit, an opportunity to learn self defence, and give me a shared interest with my children.

Rachel has also become a 2nd Dan Black Belt and assistant instructor at Doncaster Sheffield Tae Kwon Do, with first aid and safeguarding training, and is D&B checked and insured.

"TKD teaches discipline, respect, focus and fitness,” added Rachel. “The tenets of tae kwon do are courtesy, integrity, self control, perseverance and Indomitable spirit,

“The classes and associated courses, competitions and gradings opened up a new world of friendships for my daughter as they have for many others.

"For me, both as a parent and a student, I can see how classes help people, in particular children.

“We hear how children are struggling to deal with bullies, or are not progressing well at school. Some children struggle with schoolwork or find it hard to concentrate?

“How many parents wish their child wouldn’t spend so much time on their iPad, PlayStation Xbox or computer? We are here to help parents as well as children. We felt we wanted to give back to the community.

“I have seen the benefits of tae kwon do to my children and feel the need to share with others.

“I feel if we could tackle the basics at a young age, that children can only benefit.

.”It is a way to equip children with skills that will help them with their development both in and out of school, and help prepare them for the future.

“We introduce a starter Tae Kwon Do class to focus on core skills such as balance, coordination, and stretching, for example,  using a variety of tasks, exercise, routines and games.

“Most importantly we will be encouraging children to have FUN while learning within a controlled environment.

“Once a child progresses to a certain level they will have the opportunity to continue their TKD training, with Doncaster/Sheffield TKD under the tuition of Master Graham Churchill 7th Dan Black Belt.

“We are calling ourselves CT TIGERS and we have a Facebook Page.

“Classes have begun and are held twice weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5pm to 5.45pm at Cantley Community Centre.

“This is Charlie's club. Charlie will be the main instructor and I will be there with my son to assist both days.

"I am very passionate about this as I feel there is a great deal missing in today's society and I believe we have the ability to fill some gaps in children's development which might otherwise be missing."

She added: “We all want the best for our children and I would like to think we have something going here that any parent would be foolish to ignore.”