THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD Charlie Lewis holds eight world titles for martial arts and now he’s proved he’s a champ when helping others.
The teenager from Pontardawe has collected no fewer than 200 gifts for children supported by Barnardo’s Cymru, saying that he didn’t want any of them to wake on Christmas Day without a present.
Charlie, who excels at kick boxing, Taekwondo, boxing, CMX Weapons and karate, collected gifts from local shops and bought others from raffle funds where the prize was a 90 minute martial arts mentoring session with Charlie himself.
The Cwmtawe Comprehensive School pupil delivered films, board games, a skateboard, construction kits, princess castles and a mountain of confectionery to Barnardo’s Cymru after help from Tesco, B&M and a local charity shop.
Charlie said: “I’ve always wanted to help others. The world is full of uncertainties and worries for so many people at the moment, The one constant we can all give is kindness.
“I know how lucky I am to train with the best coaches and to compete nationally and internationally. I have kindness and support shown to me. But I also know there are children and young people in Wales who live way below the poverty line and for a lot of the time can’t afford heat or to eat let alone have Christmas presents.
“It is awful to think of a child waking up on Christmas Day without a present so that’s why I get involved with the local community and donate as many as possible. The response has been overwhelming and I can’t thank people enough.”
Sarah Crawley, Director of Barnardo’s Cymru, said: “Charlie has shown tremendous generosity and commitment in supporting us over the last three years. Christmas can be extremely difficult for many of the families we support and I know they will really appreciate what he has done for them. It really will make a difference.”
Charlie has been studying multiple disciplines of martial arts since he was eight. He trains with the Welsh Kickboxing Organisation (WKO) in Port Talbot and with the WAKO GB National Kickboxing Team.
He travels to Briton Ferry for Taekwondo, trains at Jack 2 A King Boxing Gym in Fforestfach and studies Karate and CMX Weapons and Forms with Team Unite UK. He even takes online lessons in Martial Arts Tricking with Dan Perez from Denver.
Charlie has eight World Championship titles and when he is older wants to open his own martial arts club welcoming people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and beliefs, regardless of financial background, physical and emotional/mental abilities.