Neasden Karate club accused of discrimination agrees to give free trial to two autistic children

PUBLISHED: 11:09 08 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:09 08 January 2019

Nikki Raza with her children Mya 8, and Isiah, 5  Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Nikki Raza with her children Mya 8, and Isiah, 5 Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

The owner of a Karate club in Neasden accused of not accepting two autistic children has been forced to train them or lose his licence.

Trainer Adam, who runs the Neasden Shotokan Karate Club (NSKC), which operates out of The Crest Academy in Crest Road, said he’s been “pushed into a corner” by the school’s letting agent.

He has agreed to allow the children to come in for a free trial to see if they can follow his instruction.

Mum-of-two Nikki Raza accused the club of discrimination in November when Adam allegedly told her his insurance wouldn’t let him teach her kids.

When she called the club in May to make enquiries for her daughter Mya, eight, and son Isiah, five, she was invited in for a taster session.

But when she finally called back five months later to make an appointment, she was told to look elsewhere. He said he wasn’t qualified to teach them, which he still maintains.

“We are open for everyone,” he told the Times. “They have pushed me in a corner. I don’t have a qualification to work with people with autism.

“I have invited them for a free trial. I’ve never seen the kids before I don’t know if they can follow instructions and cope with the class. Their mum is welcome to come and watch.”

His club has 30 pupils all split into different classes and levels, he added, according to ability.

He added: “I work by myself so I don’t have assistance in my classes.

“She tried to threaten me. It’s quite easy to destroy someone.

“This situation was quite new for me. I just work for myself and I don’t have support – that’s the thing.

“The school gave me an ultimatum: take them or go. It’s not fair. Where do I take the kids if they cancel the class? People have paid for classes.”

Nikki, said: “It was a last resort to go to a newspaper but I did it to bring about change and it worked well. I felt my children were indeed discriminated against because of their disability.

“I will have a trial session in the new year. I hope Adam has learnt from this experience.”

School Letting Solutions has been approached for comment.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Brent & Kilburn Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Kilburn Times