On Tuesday 27th October, Sensei Richard was invited to the Houses of Parliament to talk about how the positive benefits of Karate Training can help those with mental health problems.
Photo: Sensei Richard within the grounds of the Houses of Parliament shorlty before making his presentation to the APPG for Sport
Representing the English Karate Council, the largest Governing Body in England with over 50,000 members (of which the Karate Union of Great Britain is a member body), Richard spoke at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport about our commitment through Karate to increase the awareness of mental health and create more opportunities for people to get involved in Karate and help improve their mental health and well being.
Both the English Karate Council and the Karate Union of Great Britain are signatories of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation. As a result they have pledged to help tackle mental ill health and the stigma that surrounds it.
Richard was invited to attend by the Sports and Recreation Alliance, alongside representatives from Boxing England and Table Tennis England. The meeting was co-chaired by Chris Heaton-Harris MP (Chair fro APPG Sport and James Morris MP (Chair for APPG Mental Health). Amongst the large group in attendance at the APPG there were also a further five MPs, plus representatives from the Sports and Recreation Alliance and MIND.
During Richard’s presentation he explained how Karate helps develop good mental health and wellbeing. He talked about how KUGB Clubs across the country supported World Mental Health Day and how Karate and the EKC, moving forward, can play a significant role to increase awareness of mental health. He also took time to talk to the group about a personal case study to highlight the positive impact of Karate on mental health.
Richard said, “To represent the English Karate Council and talk about how Karate can benefit those with mental health issues in Parliament was a terrific honour and experience. The importance of raising awareness and tackling the stigma associated with mental health in society is essential. This is a positive step to use the collective power of sport to help address and encourage people to be open about mental health issues”.
As a result of this meeting, the co-chairs, Chris Heaton-Harris MP and James Morris MP will write to the Department of Health to discuss how we can better join up sport and health. Furthermore, all of the attending MPs and Peers have been asked to become ambassadors for the Charter and to promote sport and mental health in their communities.
Photo: Members of KUGB Chelmsford and KUGB Dulwich pictured with the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation at the Official launch in March 2015, Kia Oval. Sensei Richard is in the middle kneeling down