Inspire Taekwon-Do run evening classes twice weekly using facilities at The Samworth Church Academy, where instructor Simon also volunteers each week to run a period 6 class introducing year 7 and 8 students to Taekwon-do.
During his nine years of using the Samworth Church Academy facilities, Simon says he has seen many of his students go on to success, and felt he wanted to give something back.
He said: “Not everyone in the community has access to what we do and that is why I decided to create the scholarship in partnership with The Samworth Church Academy, to make a real difference to five young people, giving them my coaching for free.”
The five students awarded the scholarship were Brandon Lowe, Molly Taylor, Alicia Hickling, Zak Parker and Ruby Barksby.
To be considered for the scholarship, students were invited to submit a written essay saying how they would make the best of the opportunity on offer, and no previous experience of Taekwon-do was necessary.
Zak Parker, 12, said: “I only started Taekwon-do a few months ago in the after-school club, and so when the scholarship opportunity came up, I thought I would try for it.
"I am really happy about being awarded this chance. I would really like to be able to achieve a blackbelt eventually, to be the best I can at it.”
Brandon Lowe, 11, said: “I have been doing Karate for a while and am interested in learning Taekwon-do, so this is a big opportunity for me. I am aiming for the blackbelt.
"I will work hard and think my family will be pleased about the scholarship.”
Alicia Hickling, 12, said: “When the scholarship opportunity came up my Mum and I were keen on trying to get it as she thinks it will be good for me. I think it will turn out to be a good thing too.
”I would like to try for blackbelt even though I know it will be difficult. I might not be the strongest, but I am healthy minded and confident that that if I work hard, I can be a success at it.”
Ruby Barksby, 12, said. “I have been looking for something to do for ages, something to cling on to and learn because I don’t want to sit around the house all day.
"I would like to get a blackbelt. I know it will take a lot of hard work, but I am prepared to do it and do more training at home.”
Molly Taylor, a year 8 student, said: “It couldn’t have fallen at a better time as I have been doing gymnastics for the last six years or so and was ready for a change.
"I was looking for something to do instead and had actually considered Taekwon-do when the scholarship chance came up.
"I thought I’d apply as I did it when I was younger and really enjoyed it.”