Another turn of the calendar means another chance to look at some of the many stories that caught our eye over the last month from across the world.
For this edition, we are looking back on October.
Meet the Schneiders
The general manager of NFL team Seattle Seahawks, John Schneider, spoke to The Seattle Times about a huge part of his life away from the American football pitch – his son, Ben. Now 18 years old, the Schneiders are supporting Ben in making his first steps as an adult, whilst seeing their charity Ben’s Fund going from strength to strength, raising money for families who live with autism. With COVID-19 cancelling the charity’s annual event plans, the Ben’s Fund auctioned signed Seahawks merchandise in October to continue generating financial support and awareness.
ACEing Autism was set up in 2008 to bring autistic children together through tennis, developing skills to serve them well not just on the court, but in life. It caught the attention of up and coming tennis player Melina Kopischkie, who despite only just starting at the Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, has already displayed a passion to support others. Melina began her own ACEing Autism programme in Wisconsin and explained to BVM Sports how much she and the children have learnt.
In an eye-opening interview, Special Olympics Australia helped tell the story of Elise Muller, an elite athlete who plays for Aussie Rules team Essendon Football Club. It was a journey to the top that proved far from easy for Elise while feeling unaccepted in society, but she proved that people with autism can achieve their goals, and how the inclusivity of sport can be a life-changing vehicle. Sport also taught Elise much of the wisdom that she now shares with many others from a similar background.
Heart of a spartan
Former Michigan State Spartans basketball player Anthony Ianni wrote a column in the Autism Parenting Magazine to recall how he defied doctors’ expectations to triumph in education and become the first known autistic player to feature in the highest level of college basketball. But he attributes his success to those closest to him by acknowledging his loving support network, and aims to inspire people to do the same for their families by remembering what is important in life.