Dedication pays off for martial arts black belt winners

Witney Gazette: Aimee Farrant and Barnaby Dawson with some of their equipment Buy this photo » Aimee Farrant and Barnaby Dawson with some of their equipment

TWO people with learning disabilities are celebrating after scooping black belts in taekwondo following years of hard work.

Aimee Farrant, 34, and Barnaby Dawson, 33 took part in classes at Carterton Community Centre.

They were encouraged by Chris Dunn, 33, who takes in people with learning disabilities to live with his family.

Mr Dawson, who used to live with the family, got his black belt after two years of hard work in 2011, inspiring Miss Farrant.

He said: “I feel fantastic. I am really happy.

“It was very, very hard. I couldn’t stop to have a drink. I had to carry on, even if I had a stitch in my side.

Miss Farrant, who lives with the family in Burford Road, Witney, and started training in 2009, said: “I am very proud of myself.”

Dad-of-two Mr Dunn said: “It has shown a dedication and proves they can learn new skills. It is a sense of achievement.”

He said he was moved to take others in by his brother Thomas, 30, who has complex learning disabilities.

Mr Dunn said: “Aimee gave up at one stage but she saw Barnaby get his black belt and that made her determined to get hers.

“It’s given them both a sense of achievement and helped them feel as if they were part of the community.

“They have already inspired others with learning difficulties to take up taekwondo.”


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