Nickname: Lees, Wifey
Grade: Nidan 2nd Dan Black Belt (and half a Sandan 3rd Dan in Kumite haha)
Fulltime or Volunteer: Volunteer Instructor
Why Did You Start: I was 23 with a new boyfriend (Sensei Mike!!) when there was a knock on the door. It was a new karate club and they were looking for new students. We both signed up to try something different and to get fit. We went to our first karate lesson and were hooked. Paul Lunavitch was our first sensei and he was inspirational.
What keeps me training: apart from keeping me in good shape for a 48 year old there has been many reasons. Karate has been a massive part of my life for 25 years. I have been teaching for over 23 years. I have had the privilege of teaching Paul and Rachael Wolstencroft at the beginning of their karate journey when they were just boyfriend and girlfriend and now look at them!! I have helped new white belts achieve their black belts. Every time I train I learn something new, I have taken some personal grading knock backs which made me doubt myself. However, the best thing about karate and in particular Red Tiger is the people around me who have dragged me back from nearly quitting and pushed me on with a good kick up the backside for good measure. I have made some true friends through karate and it’s a bug I cannot get rid of.
Job in the real world: Office Administrator for The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain a trade association for travelling funfairs. I look after the Showmen making sure all the funfair rides are insured, registered and safe to operate.
Favourite Part of Karate: Kata, I love it, I am fab at doing the right moves in the wrong order. Also friendship!!
Hobbies other than karate: Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts in Bury & Ramsbottom District and Scout Leader for Holcombe Scout Group which keeps me very busy, it’s an excuse to try different things like abseiling, raft building, fire lighting, archery, shooting and camping. It also gives Mike a break from me.