With April being designated as Autism Awareness Month, lots of sports participants, teams, and organisations were inspired to play their part in helping to raise acceptance of autism.
As a result, here’s an extended version of Global Spectrum which has even more feel-good stories from April.
Rumble in Arizona
Zach Bates, who has autism, ran the Coldwater Rumble 100-mile Ultramarathon in Arizona, USA, earlier this year and became race’s youngest ever finisher. His mum explained how Zach is able to maintain focused for long periods of time, and is using social media to inspire other new or experienced runners.
Lisa Pugliese-LaCroix is the creator of Love Serving Autism and received an award from the United States Tennis Association at Disney World, Orlando, for her devoted work in the community – providing an inclusive place for autistic people to play tennis.
Braving the cold
Collette D’Arcy swam in the sea every day during Autism Awareness Month – a mission that raised money for occupational therapy equipment for her two autistic sons, as well as acceptance of autism. She is based in Lucan, Ireland, and she wanted to give back to the Lucan East Educate Together school and Stewart’s Special School which have both helped her boys thrive.
Cycle or skate
To celebrate World Autism Day at the start of April and help people learn more about autism, the Zain Foundation organised a 10km cycle and roller skate event in Bhubaneswar, India.
Run fast, raise funds
Step Up 4 Autism organised a 5km autism awareness race in Eldoret, Kenya, to promote autism awareness. Money raised from the event will help create an autism-friendly centre in Eldoret.
Thriving in lacrosse
Elija Kinsey plays for his high school’s lacrosse team in New Hanover, USA. Like many autistic people across the world, he is just starting out on his sports journey and discussed his relationship with lacrosse and his team-mates.
Track and field
Jonathan Mizrachi is an autistic high school athlete in Miami, USA, who is finding success. He runs competitively in track and cross country races and talked of his support network and the friends that he has made through sport.