Self-defence empowers Macsteel interns

Macsteel has introduced an empowering program to equip 100 interns and learners with self-defence skills that will help ensure their safety.

Starting this month, a Krav Maga self-defence training program for 100 of Macsteel’s interns and learners split equally across gender-lines, will provide them with greater self-confidence and ensure their safety during daily commutes to work as well as customer and site visits.

“This is an exciting initiative that ensures participating Macsteel interns and learners are well equipped in awareness training, safe behaviour, mental and physical conditioning and effective strategy for self-defence,” says Kim Allan, Macsteel’s Group Corporate Social Responsibility Manager.

“Feedback from our interns and learners showed that many were being harassed on their daily journeys to and from work. Most rely on public transport and often complete their journey on foot, which makes them the most vulnerable to unwanted approaches or unacceptable behaviour from strangers.

“Unfortunately, we can’t take responsibility for employee safety to and from work, but we are pleased to be making a real difference by empowering them with self-defence skills that will also benefit them with self-confidence,” explains Allan.

Allan co-opted Anthony Segal of idefend to train interns and learners in Krav Maga self-defence, situational awareness and personal safety skills. The course includes reading a situation before it’s too late, using one’s voice to draw attention to unwanted advances and ensuring one’s personal space is maintained. Furthermore, they learn how to counter bullying, protect themselves and their families from attackers, and improve fitness levels and weight loss.
“Krav Maga is the ideal self-defence technique,” Segal maintains. Originally developed for the Israeli army, it is now successfully applied to meet safety needs in civilian life.

The steel company’s interns and learners will learn self-defence and fighting skills, as well as protection measures against verbal, and physical harassment. Women are more likely to be identified as easy targets, because they are generally smaller than men, but Krav Maga teaches them how to power a kick or punch using their body weight.

Krav Maga’s three keys are awareness, prevention and self-confidence. “It teaches you how to spot danger and be able to get away, how to avoid problems before they become more serious and most importantly, you gain self-confidence because you know you can deal with a problem if it arises,” Segal explains.

Staff, interns and learners participating in the self-defence classes, which Macsteel provides, receive a choice of either a cost subsidised mini-taser or pepper spray to offer them further support in defending themselves.

“With June being Youth Month, it was fitting to introduce Macsteel’s self-defence courses focusing on our young intern and learner adults. But youth development programmes are maintained throughout the year,” says Allan, “because we want our interns and learners to be well-developed all-rounders. The safety course provides some of these skills. It also ties in with Macsteel’s long-standing philosophy of caring for our staff first and foremost by empowering them through much-needed life skills. The Krav Maga self-defence training addresses very real insecurities and vulnerabilities that unfortunately are part of life in South Africa.”
Issued by:
GGi on behalf of Macsteel
For further information please contact:
Lizzy Moletsane or 011 728 1363   

Date published: 
Thursday, 27 June, 2019

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