Football in Bruges to Boccia in Mumbai

With June turning into July, we’ve got our second instalment of the #spautism Global Spectrum series, collating just some of the many stories that caught our eye over the last month from across the world.

Pride of autism

The Club Brugge Foundation, charitable arm of Belgian first division football team Club Brugge KV, was put under the spotlight by in honour of Autistic Pride Day on 18th June. The Voetbalkraks started in 2007 and provides autistic children a gateway to happy and healthy lives, encouraging learning and social interaction through football and their beloved team. The programme has six-times more participants than it did when it first began, giving many from the Club Brugge community the opportunity to grow and develop.

Home run

Over in the USA, Alternative Baseball has become quite the hit in south east Georgia. Proud autism advocate Taylor Duncan, who is also on the spectrum, had an idea that could provide baseball to teenagers and adults who generally have less opportunities to step up to the plate. Although named ‘Alternative’, the sport itself still adopts the classic baseball rules and now exists in 14 states, from Ormand Beach in Florida to Tacoma in Washington. But Taylor’s mission is far from over and he is on the lookout for more potential locations, like Delmarva in this story from 47 ABC.

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Behind the wheel

Armani Williams is a growing figure in the US as the first autistic NASCAR driver and made Detroit headlines this month with a feel-good story amidst trying times. In this short feature, Armani talks about his childhood obsession for cars through to modern-day culture, as well as the impact he is having in communities through the Armani Williams Race for Autism Foundation. This is just the start for the 20-year-old!

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Getting creative

OT Sports is a leading player in making custom uniforms for sports teams across the States, recently teaming up with professional ice hockey team Tulsa Oilers and minor league baseball outfit Tulsa Drillers to produce this masterpiece that was reshared on social media in June. The shirt was worn by Oilers players on their Autism Awareness Night back in November 2019; the auction post-match raising money for charity.

Hitting the mark

The Boccia International Sports Federation set out to increase awareness of boccia over in India through a development project that was designed to instil enthusiasm and drive participation. The Adapt Bandra Sports Centre was one of the project’s locations, involving children with autism, cerebral palsy and down’s syndrome who eagerly embraced the sport. Boccia is a Paralympic event where seated players propel balls to land as close to a marker as possible, similar to the game of bowls.

Please click here for the full story.