Another new month means another Spautism Global Spectrum, where we round up some the latest headlines about autism and sport.
In this edition we are looking back on stories from February.
Matty Cools’ special senior night
Matt ‘Matty Cools’ Newman, a senior basketball player for Rumson-Fair Haven High School in Rumson, New Jersey, stole the ball and scored a layup in the opening seconds of his senior night game against Holmdel High School. Matt, who has autism, has been an integral part of the varsity basketball team on and off the court for the past four seasons. His special play went viral, resulting in former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning sending Newman a signed jersey to congratulate him.
Annual competition raises money for autism charity
The Off Level Games, organized by gaming company Off Level BDA in Bermuda, raised $1,270 for the Bermuda Autism Support and Education Society (BASE). The annual event involved 16 teams playing dodgeball, bubble football, and other sports against each other, and allowed the winning team to choose a charity to donate the prize money to. BASE assists the public by raising awareness of autism and offers resources to support those on the autism spectrum and their families.
Golf legends team up
Eleven professional golfers, including John Daly, Fred Couples, and Jim Furyk, got together in Lecanto, Florida, to raise money for Els for Autism. The foundation, started by former world number one golfer Ernie Els in 2009, was formed to help his son, who has autism. The event at Black Diamond Ranch golf course helped to raise over $300,000 for the charity.
Local athletes volunteer for unique workouts
This article highlights the positive impact of the weekly programs organised by the Autism Movement Project in New Jersey, which sees local student athletes playing various games and sports with neurodiverse individuals. One of the founders of the Autism Movement Project described how impactful the sessions are, as many of their participants have struggled to find opportunities to grow their social skills due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bonas’ business endeavour
At just 10 years old, Carter Bonas has started his own clothing business for golfers – called Spectrum Golf. As a golf enthusiast himself he wanted to create clothes that would not only generate positivity, but that he and other people with sensitive skin would feel comfortable wearing while playing. Bonas has autism and his business has led him to becoming more confident in society, giving him purpose in years to come.