In its third year, Pink Belt Project has again increased the number of women in need who will benefit from 12 months of free martial arts at their nearest club.

So far, a total of 30 women across Australia – all healing from the trauma of domestic abuse or sexual assault – have been awarded a 2021 Pink Belt Scholarship and will be on the road to an empowered new life.

Recipients are located in Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT.

Pink Belt Scholarships are funded via a combination of a crowdfunding campaign and martial arts instructors who agree to offer a club-sponsored scholarship at their school.

Project Founder Kristy Hitchens said the level of support received in the latest round of fundraising and club recruitment had been incredible given what a difficult year 2020 had been.

“Following the phenomenal degree of giving that occurred following the New South Wales bushfire crisis in January and then the devastating economic impact of Covid-19 I really had very low expectations about what I could achieve with the project during this third fundraising cycle,” Kristy said.

“What I didn’t take into account though was the level of commitment people involved in martial arts dedicate to community service.

“What I’ve seen this year from martial arts instructors across Australia has been an active demonstration of the martial way.”

Additional achievements for Pink Belt Project in its third year have included:

  • Expansion from scholarships just offering Taekwondo to now also including karate and jiu jitsu.
  • Provision of a scholarship for a young woman aged between 13 and 17 thanks to a dedicated fundraising campaign by teenage Black Belt Grace Sanders.

In its first year Pink Belt Project awarded 7 scholarships, 20 in 2020 and now 30 for 2021.

Special thanks to 2021 Scholarship Sponsors:

  • TRONOX (Formerly Cristal Mining)
  • Geographe Engineering

Some martial arts clubs offering scholarships are yet to find a suitable applicant so if you are interested in applying for a Pink Belt Scholarship, please email