Day Services has celebrated an attendee achieving one of the highest achievements in karate
Southampton City Council Day Services has celebrated one of their attendees achieving a Second Dan black belt in karate, one of the highest achievements in the art.
Alan McDougall, from Thornhill, has been participating in Karate lessons for over 21 years at Southampton Day Services for adults with mental health, learning disabilities and physical disabilities. After gaining his black belt in karate through the Day Services sessions in 2010, Alan decided to continue with his training and has now passed the exam to achieve the Second Dan, a second level black belt, which means Alan can now instruct karate to others.
Alan was presented with the honorary Second Dan black jacket and black belt by the Southampton Day Services instructors, Sensei and Sempai Crawford, in front of friends and fellow Karate lesson attendees at a surprise celebration organised by Southampton Day Services staff.
Alan hasn’t stopped smiling since receiving the news and said “I feel very happy. I love karate and I look forward to it every week. I practice every day.” Sensei Crawford, the Southampton Day Services Karate Instructor, said: “What’s so great about Alan is his commitment to the sport, he’s so dedicated, always wants to train, attends the class every week without fail and will always go home and practice. In the 21 years I have been instructing Alan it has really helped him personally, I have really seen his confidence grow and his independence improve through participating.”
Alison Gilroy, Team Manager at Southampton Day Services, said “We are so proud of him, for his commitment to sessions at Day Services and also to training outside of sessions. His passion is karate and we at Southampton Day Services support him to fulfil that passion.”
Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said “Southampton Day Services provides opportunities for people to live the best life for them and are committed to delivering services that focus on a person's individual needs whilst offering interaction with friends and the opportunity to take part in sport and creative activities. We are really proud of Alan for his personal achievements.”
Individuals are referred by a social worker or independence advisor to use Southampton Day Services, for more information contact 023 8083 4750.
Pictured top, Alan with the Southampton Day Services Karate Group. Pictured right, Alan with Karate Instructors - Sensei & Sempai Crawford