Durham Freemason Denis Slater was extremely pleased, not only to be nominated for, but to be presented with a stronger communities award for his contribution to sports 2022. Denis, formerly of Darlington Lodge and now a member of Strathmore, who meet in Barnard Castle is chief instructor at Kyosho Karate club who train at Hurworth primary school.
The Hurworth Kyosho Karate club was founded in 1982 with Denis being one of the founder members. The Hurworth club is one of two not-for-profit clubs with the other Kyosho Karate club meeting at Barrow-in-Furness. Denis is a 4 th Dan black belt in karate and is currently attempting to attain his 5 th Dan with Karate International in Leeds.
Denis could not be more dedicated and has volunteered his evenings twice a week for the past 40 years teaching students from the age of 5 up to adults with specialised classes to suit different ages. Denis inspires confidence in children with low self-esteem, orchestrates and directs his assistant instructors and brings a fun and safe place for many. Denis’ dedication does not just sit with the 2 classes per week, Denis can be seen taking time out of his personal life to transport, coach and develop students at competitions around the UK, training a team to win several medals at the European Open in Manchester in 2016.
Denis personifies what it takes to be a local volunteer delivering a local community club to adults and children, providing his students with a positive and safe environment to build lifelong friendships and sense of community spirit with a real sense of family in the club.
Denis was nominated for the award by his son Michael Slater who had the following to say:
“Over 40 years ago my late uncle Stuart walked into my Mam and Dad’s house and said to my Dad, get your shoes on we are going to try karate and off they went. Little did Dad know this would be a journey he would dedicate most of his life to. My Dad, for a long time, has taken time out to teach, train and inspire individuals and deserves some recognition. I’m proud as punch to say that he was nominated for contribution to sport at the Darlington Stronger Communities Awards, and I’m even prouder to say he won.
1st photo Denis presented with award by Barry Thompson on behalf of Darlington FC
2nd photo Members of the Kyosho karate family. Left to right: Michael Skingley, Darren Taylor (a member of County Lodge Darlington and Chief instructor at Barrow Kyosho Karate Club), James Reese, Denis Slater, Michael Slater (Denis’ son who nominated him), George Skingley. All are instructors at Hurworth Kyosho Karate Club