THE story of karate kid Jhovan Hanson proves youngsters do have the inner self-discipline to turn their lives around.
Until he discovered martial arts at the age of 13 Jhovan used to be regularly in trouble at school and was excluded several times.
That period in his life was no doubt challenging for his family, the school and for Jhovan himself.
But all changed when former World Kickboxing Champion Lance Lewis became an improvement officer at Jhovan’s school, Newsome High, and encouraged the troubled youngster to channel his energy in a different way.
And it has worked in spectacular style for just three years down the line Jhovan has become a black belt in freestyle karate and has won the British Junior Championships.
He is now polite, has taken GCSEs, plans to go on to college and eventually open his own gym.
It just shows that troubled youngsters can be helped. Everyone must have a gift or a natural interest in something and it’s a case of discovering that and then giving every encouragement to the youngster to give it everything they’ve got.
Jhovan’s anger and frustration at life has gone and been replaced by a driving spirit that’s far more positive.
He has become a great role model for others to follow and makes the usual excuses from some youngsters that ‘there’s nothing to do’ seem rather hollow.