Black belt for Mark

Mark Torre with his teacher Karen Doyle and his mum
Mark Torre with his teacher Karen Doyle and his mum

The teenager, who has autism, has been working closely with teacher Karen Doyle at ATI Martial Arts in Malaga.

He graduated last month after several years of working his way up through the ranks in the special needs class.

Doyle said it was a wonderful to see her student achieve so much in an Olympic sport.

‘It is our first black belt grading for our special needs class,’ she said.

‘There are a lot of families of children with special needs and the general public should know about this amazing young man achieving in a sport of Olympians.’

The special needs classes are held once a week and follow the same curriculum as the rest of members although it can sometimes vary.

‘We alter slightly for particular requirements but the classes are very good for special needs children as a lot of them have that hyper activity sort of issues and this helps dissipate that energy and stress,’ she said.