Oliver Wiltshire completed a very special moment when he earned his Taekwon-Do black belt.
Under the tutelage of Master Vendon Wright for the last 11 years, Wiltshire – who is affected by Asperger Syndrome – has worked hard to achieve the prestigious award.
The five tenets of Taekwon-Do are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit – all of which have stood him in excellent stead as he has matured from some difficult early years to become the young man he is today.
At one stage Wiltshire had not only been excluded from school but been asked to leave swimming lessons, gym club and many other extra-curricular activities he found hard to access.
Having been made welcome by the Taekwon-Do family, he earned his yellow belt – the first Taekwon-Do grading – in 2003 and this weekend became a 1st Dan Black belt.
This requires the student to memorise patterns that are made up of 44 movements, as well as many other physical and mental challenges including full contact sparing.
The black belt signifies maturity and proficiency and also indicates the wearer’s imperviousness to darkness and fear.
It has been a long journey for Wiltshire – who was nominated by the Education Authority to carry the Olympic torch.
To make the achievement even more remarkable he has done it at the time he is also taking his A-level exams.