Bethan Owen, 17, is a young carer and the founder of a not-for-profit karate club for young people in her local area.
Location: Bodelwyddan, Wales
From a young age, Bethan helped to take care of her mum who lives with epilepsy. By way of a distraction, she started to learn karate at a young age and By the time she was 12-years old, she was a black belt and qualified karate instructor. She realised that there was a lack of affordable services for both young carers and the wider community, and started a karate club.
Not only does Bethan teach the young people karate and improve physical wellbeing, she helps to boost the self-esteem and confidence of her students, and provides them a needed break from caring for their relatives. She currently runs classes Rhyl and teaches over 35 young children and adults.
Bethan has been placed in the under-16 British Female Martial Artist of the Year – International Hall of Fame London and inducted into USA Martial Arts Association ‘Hall of Fame’, as well as representing Wales in the World Championships. She also won the St David’s ‘Young Person Award’ in February of this year and on the Commissioner for Wales Board for Young Children for the next two years.
Bethan’s classes, commitment and dedication to her classes and young people in the local community ensures that her students have somewhere to go and the opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends.
Thank you so much for making me a finalist. It’s amazing for me and my students and getting us recognised as a club.
I never have holidays because I’m either looking after my mam or running the club, so I’m so excited to travel to London to meet the other finalists.