Good news for Marist Alternative Education in North Shore. Thanks to a grant from NZCT, the school can continue their kickboxing training sessions. Principal Kim Fraser says that by learning kickboxing skills, the students grow in self-confidence and self-esteem.
Marist Alternative Education provides students aged between 13 and 16 with a second chance at education. Kim Fraser said, "Our students come to us either after being excluded from mainstream schools or from having a prolonged period of absence. We are witnessing increasing numbers of students struggling with mental health issues, or whose cognitive processing differences prove challenging for their mainstream school to manage."
The weekly kickboxing sessions form a crucial part of the school's physical education and personal development programmes. NZCT's grant enables Marist Alternative Education to continue with this important part of their education. Kim said, "By learning kickboxing skills, we witness our students grow in self-confidence and self-esteem. Our ADHD students benefit from an increase in the ability to focus. It also leads to higher levels of confidence in the classroom, as well as an improved ability to complete tasks and remain focused on their lessons."
Kim finds it a privilege to work with young people and their families. She says the rewards lie in seeing them gain their potential and transcend the barriers preventing them from achieving. "One of our students has cognitive processing differences. When he first started with us, he had been out of the education system for 18 months. His sensory overload episodes posed to high a risk for the schools to manage. His first training session at the gym was challenging being in a different environment with strangers, and the noises of people punching and kicking bags was overwhelming. Through attending the weekly sessions, combined with regular attendance at school, this young man has learned strategies to use when he is feeling stressed. He can de-escalate himself and self-regulate his emotions. Now he is often used as an example by the coach for other students to follow regarding his techniques."