Wednesday, 14 September 2011

My school photo with Karate instructor Tracy Thomas

Below is a "School Photo" feature I did with Karate instructor Tracy Thomas for the Friday, September 9, 2011, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.


My school photo

Karate instructor and Second Dan Black Belt, TRACY THOMAS, who teaches at Kenshin Karate Club in Morriston tells us about her school days.

“I went to Cwmrhydeiceirw Infant school and then Clase Junior School. When I left to go to Secondary school I went to Mynyddbach Comprehensive School for girls.
When I was in the infant school I was a bit of a Tomboy. I liked to play in the water, generally splashing the other children and tipping water from one container to the other. I look back now and think where is the fun in that!”

“My favourite teacher was Mrs Williams. She had thick curly fair hair and glasses and was really caring towards me, she gave me cuddles and hugs all the time and I saw her as my second mum. I was a bit naughty in school on times and I remember once kicking a football in class on my last day of school in the infants. The classroom had been newly painted and I left a great big muddy patch on the shining white ceiling. I certainly left my mark on that school!”

“When I went to Junior school my favourite teacher was Mr. Uren. It had to be really because he was the only teacher I had. It was really unusual to have the same teacher for three years on the trot and unlucky for him I was in it!”

“I hated school dinners and was the only child who came home at lunch time. One time my Mum said I could stay home if I wanted and of course I took her up on this magical moment. I used my time to go and talk to the lolly pop lady. She was a really kind person and I loved to listen to her stories. She was kind of like my third Mum. However, it was doomed from the start and I got caught loitering by my teacher. In shock I ran and leapt over a wall crouched down and hid until he had passed. This didn’t go unnoticed of course and I had a row the next day.”

“My favourite subject has always been PE. My teacher used to give us the lesson plans for the week and put them on the board. We always knew what was coming up next. Friday afternoon was timetabled for PE and I loved it. I looked forward to that time of the week, however, I was usually held back from the lesson for not finishing my work plan.

When I went to secondary School I was in all the top sets for all the subjects. Of course,

PE was still my favourite and my teachers names were Mrs Lindenberg and Mrs Cuthbert. They both encouraged me to run for the school in sprints and relays. To this day I love running and run regularly four times a week. At lunchtimes they used to let me use the gym. I was always in there either playing tennis, badminton, or practising the high jump. I loved the ropes on the high bars and loved the challenge of climbing them, touching the top bar and shining back down.”

“When I was a young girl I wanted to do Kung Fu, but my mother always said it was a sport for boys and I wasn’t allowed. When my daughter was 11 years old I took her to karate lessons. I was determined that she was going to have every opportunity that I had missed. I used to watch her training and would be on the edge of my seat desperate to join in. An opportunity arose when Peter Jones set up a club called Kenshin Karate Club in the Sacred Heart Centre in Morriston. Twelve years on I am now still at the club and supporting Peter as an assistant coach. I am a Second Dan Black Belt and I also run a female adult class on a Thursday evening from 6-7pm. Karate is my passion. It gives me confidence, respect and is a great tool for stress relief. The club has many members who gel well together and welcome new students. It is like my extended family and I couldn’t live my life without it.”

Kenshin Karate Club can be found in the Sacred Heart Centre, School Road, Morriston, Swansea, SA6 6HZ. Phone 01792 323477 or visit for more information.

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