Karate students honour Mark Beevers' memory
IT WAS a fitting way to remember a passionate martial arts teacher.
Karate students and instructors devoted a biannual grading session to the memory of black-belt Mark Beevers.
Father-of-one Mr Beevers, 43, died last month, just eight weeks after discovering he had terminal bowel cancer.
He was general secretary of the Takeshi Karate Association (TKA), and ran a club in Hornsea. He also worked as a primary school teacher.
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Money raised at the grading for Reality Self Protection students will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support, whose nurses cared for Mr Beevers during his final days at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham.
Paddy Cooney, chief instructor at Reality Self Protection, which is part of TKA, said: "We have grading sessions every six months and this was the first one we were due to have since Mark's passing, so it was in his memory.
"Karate was his life, so we thought this would be a fitting way to pay tribute to him and raise money for the charity Mark wanted to support."
Eight students were graded at the event, which took place at the Alexandra Hall in Hedon.
Mr Cooney, who organised the event alongside Pete Smith, said the event is likely to have raised more than £100.
Mr Cooney said: "He was a real influence and mentor to me and helped me achieve my black belt. He was my instructor and then helped me when I set up Reality.
"A lot of the students remember him too, from when he trained with us.
"He was so passionate about karate and was just an awesome guy. He was so light-hearted and took everything in his stride.
"I always looked up to him."
Mr Beevers brought up his daughter Jessica, 16, alone after losing his wife Stephanie in a car crash in Market Weighton 12 years ago.
He planned to marry his partner Nicola Sinclair next year.
She said he would always put others first.
"Mark was loving, caring and would put everyone else before him," said Miss Sinclair.
"He was just a fantastic person. He taught me to love and respect myself.
"He was a real role model for my son, Fraser.
"My family and friends loved him because he made me so happy."
Mr Beevers, who was a third-dan black belt, served for years in the Royal Navy before completing a teaching degree.
He worked as a supply teacher at many East Riding schools, including Thorngumbald Primary from September last year to July.
Takeshi Karate Association's chief instructor Stuart Morfitt, who was friends with Mr Beevers for almost 25 years, said: "The kids he taught in Hornsea absolutely loved him. He also taught in Hedon, where he was adored, too.
"Mark was a larger-than-life character and was so passionate about karate."