Molly Samuel-Leport was born in London in the 1960’s. Her parents had arrived from Dominica in the 1950’s having been recruited by the British government. Molly was the seventh of nine children.
London in the 60’s was tough for new immigrants. Molly’s childhood was one of hardship as her parents worked hard to provide for their family. Molly recalls that “We were the kids with cardboard in our shoes”.
As if life wasn’t hard enough Molly and her siblings found many of their classmates were less than welcoming. That they had been born here and knew no other home was of no consequence to their tormentors.
Eventually the pressure of life in the UK was too much for Molly’s parents who divorced when she was just 14. Molly took the breakdown hard. She dropped out of school and at age 15 gave birth to her first child, Sharline.
At 17 Molly was living with her 2 year old on the 22nd floor of Gannon Point, Council Estate, on Freemasons Road in Canning Town. She recalls that “the lifts smelt exactly how you would imagine” and when they were out of order she was forced to stay at her mothers’ home in Forest Gate. Challenging as it was, life revolved around providing for her young daughter as best she could.
A New Year Challenge
It was on a rare night out in December 1981 that Molly met Jerry, her elder sister’s Karate instructor. Jerry challenged her to join his class and complete a beginners’ course in the new year.
Molly accepted the challenge. It was not something she had ever thought of herself doing and she was both nervous and excited at the prospect. From the first moment she was hooked. Molly completed the beginners’ course and immediately enrolled in the next class.
A Passion Discovered
Molly progressed rapidly through her karate gradings and while she enjoyed the katas and rituals what she really started to live for was the combat. From her first tournament victory at Ishinryu Karate Summer Course in 1982 she knew this was her chance.
Her training schedule was exhausting. She would start work at 5:30am, finishing at 10 and spend the rest of the time practicing karate and completing an arduous fitness programme.
The 22 flights of stairs which were once an impassable obstacle were now her training ground. She would run up and down them 3 or 4 times each day.
Through it all Jerry was by her side. No longer just her instructor, he was her partner.
In Budapest in 1983 Molly became the first ever British World Karate Champion. Molly went on to win the world title a further 6 times as well as numerous Commonwealth, European and National Championships.
Standing on the dais as the Union Jack was raised and God Save the Queen rang out was a proud moment for Molly.
Following her retirement from competitive sport in 1993 Molly continued her involvement with Karate as a coach and mentor to the next generation of British athletes.
In 1993 she married Jerry and in 1996 gave birth to her second daughter, Elizabeth.
Despite having left school at 14 she completed first the leaving certificate and then an Honour’s Degree in Education. She now works as an educator teaching valuable skills to the homeless, unemployed and disadvantaged.
Molly’s Next Challenge
Molly hopes you’ve enjoyed her story and can’t wait to hear yours as she begins her 2015 election campaign as the Conservative Candidate for Walthamstow.
Molly wants to champion improved opportunities for young people, make the streets safer and build stronger communities for the people of Walthamstow.
With her background as an athlete, as an educator and as a mother Molly brings a lifetime of experience and a willingness to listen not seen in today’s career politicians.
Molly would love to hear from you. You can tell her your story or send her a message of support using the form below.