Boosting confidence in our children

Confident kids: Forster Martial Arts and Fitness manager Colin Osborn, Club Forster president Claire Fletcher and Club Forster general manager Peter Clarke are making a stand against bullying.

Confident kids: Forster Martial Arts and Fitness manager Colin Osborn, Club Forster president Claire Fletcher and Club Forster general manager Peter Clarke are making a stand against bullying.

Forster Martial Arts and Fitness manager Colin Osborn has had enough of childhood bullying.

After receiving numerous calls from parents concerning their children being bullied, the martial arts veteran decided to kick start the Confident Kids program.

Colin based the program on the theory that the children involved were struggling with self confidence or social interaction. 

Starting with a one-on-one session between Colin and the child, the problem that is causing them to have low confidence is established before a martial arts move they are comfortable with, such as a punch, kick or knee is incorporated.

By the second and third sessions, the martial arts move is developed to the point where the child has gained significant confidence.

Colin said the benefits to children are endless.

"When one thing works, everything else seems to work with it,” Colin said.

"You'll genuinely hear from parents that the school grades have improved, they're better kids at home, they are more disciplined because they are more confident.”

When it became apparent more funding was needed to continue the classes, Colin approached Club Forster for support. Without hesitation, the club’s board agreed to input $4000.

On a personal level, Club Forster president Claire Fletcher knew the benefits of completing the program and as such endorsed the concept. 

The club’s general manager Peter Clarke said it was an easy decision to back Colin’s plans.

"I was very pleased that Col brought this bullying campaign to our attention and the board immediately, unanimously agreed to pursue it in our interest of the local community,” he said.

"The world we live in these days, particularly youth who experience not only personal but online bullying is tough and they need support.

“That's the sorts of things Col is teaching them which is terrific so we're proud to be part of it.”

Colin is a 37-year veteran of martial arts with a background in boxing, muay thai, kickboxing and taekwondo.

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