A profoundly deaf six-year-old boy has won the gold medal at the British National Taekwondo Championships.
Ali Rafeeq, from High Wycombe, is now the British taekwondo national champion in the individual junior male-paralympic category.
Ali attends Heathlands School in St Albans, which caters for deaf children.
He attended the championships in Worcester late last year with his club, the London Taekwondo Academy, whose ethos and approach is supportive of individuals with special needs.
Ali’s dad, Qaiser, said: “Ali’s success is the success of all that are involved in his life,” and a tribute to both his family and his school community.
Co-Headteacher of Heathlands School, Lesley Reeves Costi, said: “Ali’s success shows that deaf children can achieve anything they put their mind to, that is always the belief at Heathlands School.”
And London Taekwondo Academy technical director, Grandmaster Yusuf Dildar, said that “as an organisation we firmly believe in the potential of individuals with special needs and Ali’s success is just another testament to this.
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“On the same weekend two other colleagues of Ali, one autistic and the other visually impaired also achieved gold medals.”