A Club for the Cubs

Dino Bagattin is raising a new, fierce group of cubs at The Lions Den.

In July 2018, Maplewave and Bradian Logistics were approached by Dino Bagattin, who presented the unique opportunity to sponsor Development and Bully-proof classes aimed at building morale and promoting physical activity in children.

Bagattin has 15 years of Mixed Martial Arts experience. Having left England to return to South Africa, he is passionate about bringing the sport home. It is important for Bagattin to give back to the community that supported him in his own career.

“Being a fighter is hard and we commit a lot. I want to give back to the community that supported me in my training.” Bagattin expresses.

At The Lions Den in Edenvale, Johannesburg, Bagattin runs the development classes for local kids. Since its introduction, 20 children have participated in the program. During classes, kids are provided with the opportunity to build their athletic skill set, boost their confidence, and grow through competition. Bagattin explains that through their victories, kids start to believe in themselves.

It's no secret that the participation of youth in sport has infinite benefits. Sports teach transferable life lessons and instill personal values such as teamwork, working hard, commitment, discipline, and healthy living.

Bagattin shares like with any sport, there is always the concern of violence. He stresses that the program doesn't promote violent behavior. In reality, Martial Arts are known for promoting self-control, socialization, and respect.

“They know the dangers, they know they need to be responsible - and they never fight each other.” He explains.

Bagattin's favorite part of the program is simply just being there and sharing the experience with his own son - who is also in the program. “They greet me with a smile and are eager to get on the mat. I like being here and helping them become better people and preparing them for society.” He shares.

Martial Arts can help youth overcome various obstacles and enhance diverse aspects of their lives. Martial Arts offers kids the chance to be physically active, set and accomplish goals, and have fun - without the “win-at-all-costs” mantra seen in other sports.

For the future, Bagattin hopes to expand the program to reach kids who otherwise couldn't participate and to further nurture the love of Martial Arts among youth in South Africa.

“The kids are my pride and joy” Bagattin exclaims. “We are fortunate to have Maplewave and Bradian Logistics and a training facility. With support and sponsor, I hope the program can grow to accommodate 60 kids.

"Interested in The Lions Den? Visit their Facebook page @TheLionsDen XVIX

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