Taekwondo Olympian Carmen Marton Is Fighting For Women In Need

Taekwondo Olympian Carmen Marton Is Fighting For Women In Need

by | Jul 31, 2019

She’s a world champion, fought at Olympic level three times as a member of the Australian Taekwondo team, and hopes to do it all again at Tokyo 2020. But right now, Melbourne’s Carmen Marton has rolled up her dobok sleeves for a battle of a different kind.

Carmen, along with Sydney’s 2017 Commonwealth champion Kate McAdam, is fronting a campaign to empower women suffering from the past trauma of domestic violence through the healing power of Taekwondo.

Pink Belt Project delivers scholarships covering one year of free Taekwondo training to women in need.

pink belt project

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Launched last year, there are currently eight women across Australia training at their local Taekwondo club at no cost, with their scholarship funds covering class fees, uniform, equipment, grading exams and membership fees. Each scholarship is worth $2,000.

“This is a project designed and driven by women, for women,” Carmen said.

“It is about allowing women in need to rebuild themselves and their lives in an environment that centres around empowerment, personal development, respect, achievement through perseverance, deep camaraderie and above all else, kindness.”

Pink Belt Project was launched last year by Western Australian Taekwondo mum Kristy Hitchens, who blogs about her often comical adventures as a middle-aged martial artist under pseudonym The Mortal Mouse.

pink belt project

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Her idea was inspired by a friend forced to quit Taekwondo after escaping a violent marriage that left her deeply traumatised and barely able to support herself financially.

Peak sports body Australian Taekwondo was quick to jump behind the concept, helping spread word of the project through its national connections. When approached by Kristy to help build the profile of the project and assist with fundraising, Carmen and Kate didn’t hesitate to get on board.

“I am grateful beyond words to have the support of such highly decorated national athletes for this project and only demonstrates just how much they both embrace the ancient tradition of our martial art, not just as a sport, but a way of life,” Kristy said.

Scholarships are achieved through a combination of a crowdfunding campaign (now on), sponsorship and Taekwondo clubs offering their own matched scholarships.

pink project

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“This time last year I had given up on life. I felt that my life was no longer my own and I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt joy,” Nicole* said.

“But here I am! Arriving at another training session, in my second month and loving it. I feel strong and empowered.

“I feel more confident; and have found a little piece of joy, in one hour a day, twice a week. And it’s mine.

“When my scholarship period ends, I hope to continue on, and aim towards that seemingly elusive black belt. Everyone looks good in black, right?”

A three month fundraising campaign for Pink Belt Scholarships to be undertaken in 2020 is now underway. You can donate at chuffed.org/project/pinkbelt

*Name changed to protect identity

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Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

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All Access

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Nike

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Lululemon

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Spiritual Gangster

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