Havant martial arts student's running challenge kicks off fundraising efforts for new foundation with charitable aims

A NEW foundation is spreading hope in the community as a group of selfless martial artists work to raise funds for charitable causes.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 10:53 am

Launched by PSKO Karate club in Havant NOZOMI Foundation aims to support martial arts students and instructors who want to help others across the area.

Nozomi, which means hope in Japanese, was thought up by Havant chief instructor Michael Fletcher after he was presented with a special katana gift in December by his students.

The first fundraising effort under the foundation was undertaken by student William Cage, 13, his mum Claire and nine-year-old brother Robson.

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William Cage with his mum Claire and brother Robson who all ran 28 miles in 28 days for Pancreatic Cancer UK and received a NOZOMI Award of Recognition

The trio, sometimes joined by younger brother Tommy in his pushchair, ran 28 miles for 28 days in February to raise £300 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

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Claire said: ‘I started this challenge to try and gain a bit of motivation for me to get a bit fitter and to get the boys out of the house.

‘I knew little about pancreatic cancer but hearing stories of others taking part has encouraged us to fundraise.

Members of PSKO Havant presented a gift of a Katana of Hope to instructor Michael Fletcher with a certificate and poem. Pictured: Black belt instructor Sam Lewington presenting the gift to Sensei Fletcher in December 2020

‘We have raised £300 for Pancreatic Cancer UK and I'm so thankful for everyone who has donated so far. I'm glad we are helping this charity to support anyone dealing with this awful disease.’

The Cage family were presented with the first NOZOMI Award of Recognition certificate to thank them for their efforts.

Instructor Samantha Lewington, who launched the foundation, said: ‘The idea came about after the presenting of Michael Fletcher’s katana on December 21.

Nozomi Foundation, founded by members of PSKO Havant

‘We were still volunteering at the Waterlooville food bank the following day and it was agreed we would set something up.

‘The thought was what can we do extra as a small club on the south coast? We already do so much to keep the club going and are already successfully fundraising for causes.

‘This new foundation gives us a separate identity focused directly on support and recognition. It is something positive that we can achieve, for just that bit more extra time and effort, we definitely think it’s going to be worth it.’

The group will offer support by sharing stories of those that are raising funds for their particular causes, as well as assist in fundraising and donate to help them reach their final targets.

Visit facebook.com/groups/830601577671463 for more information.

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