Jul 10, 2019

New Leaf Link (aka NeLL) runs programming for developmentally disabled adults out of the gym at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church 3 days a week, year-round. NeLL is able to accomplish this without government funding, due to the dedication of the parents, volunteers, instructors that are committed to the project.

One of those instructors is Marty Tucker, from the Sydenham Academy of Martial Arts. Since last fall, Marty has been teaching Karate to NeLL participants. Last Thursday, April 4th, the New Leaf Link students, along with Marty and some of his academy students, demonstrated the skills they have learned to an audience of family members, the media, South Frontenac Councillor Ross Sutherland and MPP Randy Hillier.

Some of the NeLL students were nervous, but they all came through in the end, with Marty’s encouragement. The day culminated in the presentation of Yellow Belts to the students, marking their progress in the martial art.

“The Karate component in our courses, along with the arts, music, and nutrition, adds so much to our group,” said NeLL founder and Executive Director Dr. Karin Steiner.

The students also presented MPP Hillier with three pieces of art that they have created with their art instructor Gabriel Deerman from Salmon River Studios in Tamworth.

“I have three offices,” said Hillier, “in Perth, Smiths Falls, and at Queen’s Park. I will put one of these up in each office.”

For information about New Leaf Link, go to Newleaflink.ca

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