Claire Sloane knows it can be tough for youngsters growing up these days.
The 23-year-old, from Marton, is hoping her new, unique classes for children’s personal safety and awareness will go some way to help.
The six-week course will start in Layton next month, and cover areas such as bullying, peer pressure, stranger awareness, cyber-bullying, street awareness and how to deal with attacks.
Claire, a fourth dan black-belt and qualified coach in tae kwon do and children’s fitness instructor, says she hopes the sessions will help youngsters to gain a better understanding of the world, teach them important life skills, and boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Claire already runs children’s exercise sessions, with St Annes dad Alistair Thornton, under their company Core Coach Ltd, in Ansdell.
She has also been teaching martial arts classes around the Blackpool area in primary schools for the last five years.
Claire, who works in Child’s Play head office in Blackpool, said: “I’ve been doing taekwondo since I was 14, and there’s always been an element of self-defence in the training.
“It built up my confidence enough for me to stand up in front of people and talk and teach, and I found it was one of my favourite elements.
“I went on to do courses in children’s and women’s self-defence and a diploma. I have now put together a course of classes, covering issues such as bullying, self-defence, stranger awareness and peer pressure.
“It’s aimed at children, aged six to 13. It’s everything which can affect a young person in some way.
“The programme aims to help them develop life skills and learn how to deal with situations, as well as boosting their confidence.
“There’s no need for a martial arts background, it’s for all abilities and it’s about how to use every possible means to avoid any physical confrontation.
“I recently saw a piece of research which showed just how easy it can be for children to be lured away by strangers, and it was really scary.
“The parents themselves were surprised by it, too, as they had obviously educated their children.
“The way this course is presented makes it good fun for children, but it has a factual basis and they’re learning without realising it.
“There is an element of self-control and discipline, of course, to the sessions, and building social skills.
“The children will all receive a certificate.”
The course will run for six consecutive weeks, starting on Monday, June 1, between 6 and 7pm, at Studio One, Collingwood Place, Layton.
* For more information, call Claire on 0782 5128246 or email firstname.lastname@example.org