Local youth worker and kickboxing instructor from Wisbech nominated for top diversity award
Rosie Woolgar, a local youth worker and kickboxing instructor from Wisbech and King’s Lynn, has been nominated for the Positive Role Model - LGBT award at The National Diversity Awards 2020.
Rosie was surprised by the parent of a child on whom she’d made an impact, who nominated her for this award due to her constant work for LGBT children, young people, and adults over the last several years.
Rosie currently works for an LGBT charity called ‘The Kite Trust’ which helps children and young people who are LGBT or who are questioning their gender or sexuality.
Rosie’s work takes her all over Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. Through the Kite Trust, she runs one-to-one meetings, three youth groups, and one group to support parents of transgender young people. She also delivers training to schools, workplaces, event-runners, and all manner of businesses, to promote the interests of LGBT people all over the area.
Rosie works tirelessly, holds down three jobs, is a carer, and still manages to work for the good of the community in her spare time.
At the age of nine, Rosie’s spine was damaged while doing gymnastics. This has resulted in chronic back and neck pain, and several recurrent problems with her spine. More recently, she was the victim of a violent crime in Asia, where she’d been volunteering, which ended the trip of a lifetime travelling the world.
Despite living with daily pain, Rosie hasn’t let this stop her from continuing to train and coach kickboxing - progressing to Black Belt within three years of starting out, and going on to coach two youth clubs, and one adult club.
Rosie has also led the entire coaching team on the ‘Play With Pride’ training offered by The Kite Trust and Living Sport. This award trains coaches and helps to foster understanding within sports clubs and groups, and encourages coaches to welcome and celebrate their LGBT members, and gives advice on how to create a safe space within their clubs for LGBT people.
Rosie’s interest in diversity and politics began at a young age, when she joined the Youth Parliament in Southend. This ignited Rosie’s passion for public sector work, and especially for supporting those who are disadvantaged, such as LGBT people, refugees and asylum seekers, people with mental health issues, and people who are black or an ethnic minority. Rosie believes that people who fall into intersections of these groups are some of the most vulnerable people in society, and has constantly worked to advocate for their rights and safety through national and international political groups, and also locally within her own kickboxing club.
Rosie’s profile on the National Diversity Award website states:“After being the victim of a mugging in South East Asia, I was medically evacuated and repatriated back to the UK. With little mobility and having moved to a brand new area, I knew I needed to rehabilitate fast. Kickboxing was a way for me to make new friends, socialise in a new area, get fit and slowly rehabilitate my injuries.
"It was tough to recover from injury, but when I was back to fighting fit I sped through the programme and before I knew it I was a part of the coaching team, became an instructor and most recently have opened my own franchise.
"Last year I attended a summer camp known as Camp Camp, as a volunteer kickboxing instructor to run sessions specifically for LGBT+ young people, to take part in sport in a safe and friendly environment.
"My aim is to show the young people who attend my youth clubs and kickboxing lessons, that it is important to be loud and proud of who you are.
One of those who nominated said: “Rosie is an incredible human. She gives hope to those who feel hopeless and a voice to those who haven't been heard. Rosie is an amazing person to have by your side because with her there you feel you cannot fail. Rosie allows you to believe in yourself no matter what barriers are in front of you.”
To vote for Rosie, head to the National Diversity Award site and read Rosie’s whole profile alongside picture here: https:/ nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/28563/
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More by this authorSarah Cliss