‘Own your own story’ – how racing go-karts changed my life

‘Own your own story’ – how racing go-karts changed my life

A great piece with one of my Charity Ambassadors Matty Street CEO of @Teamkarting and Sandro Ballesteros winner of one of our charity hero awards a couple of years ago whoop!

Source: BBC Sport – ‘Own your own story’ – how racing go-karts changed my life:-

Some people might be able to tell you exactly what kind of train is on the track and where it was made, but for me it’s all about motor-sport. There are bad days. Recently, I couldn’t cope with the transition of moving house. The colour of the new soap-holder and the position of the glasses in the new kitchen caused me to completely flip out. I took time off work, I imagine I was quite grumpy and snappy to some people. Sorry mum. There’s always bad days. But you’ve got to get up and crack on.

Click here to watch my video

I’m Matty Street and I’m the CEO of TeamKarting, I’m 22 and I have autism. Here’s my story.

Autism is different for everyone. Me and my brother are autistic, and – as my mother would say – we are chalk and cheese.

I like structure and routine and he is more relaxed in that respect. It varies from person to person but, ultimately, it’s a social disorder which means some people struggle to understand what others would take as ordinary.

There are so many negative labels associated with autism. A friend of mine says I’m not supposed to be good at eye contact. To that, I say it’s overrated – depending on who you’re looking at.

We’re also not supposed to be good at speaking in front of people. Me? I speak in front of hundreds of people at events. And we’re not supposed to be good at sarcasm, even though I speak it as a second language!

There are so many different aspects of the link between autism and motor-sport.

There is the repetition of constantly going around the track – nothing really changes. The speed of it is calming, because you’re constantly going ‘break, accelerate, turn’ and looking at all these different reference points.

It’s soothing because your physical actions are keeping up with the speed your brain is working at.

Motorsport isn’t like most sports. When you put the helmet on in the car or kart, it’s just you; the driver.

In football, for example, there are 11 players on the pitch who rely on each other and communicate socially. With motor-sport, you don’t necessarily need to do that which is why it works out so well for some people with autism.

I manage a race team with 11 drivers. A couple of those drivers are autistic and when we turn up at a new track you can immediately sense the anxiety there.

At a new place, they don’t have familiar surroundings – all those things are going through their head and it takes a while for them to come out of their shell.

But the minute you put the helmet on it’s a sense of calmness, and a sense of relief and security that you are within yourself and it helps your initial anxieties.

I’d always like to know where I’m going, so if I’m going to a track for the first time I’ll always be extra prepared so that when I arrive I know what’s what.

Fired, rehired… then bought the business

Has motor-sport changed my life? Massively. Without it, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now. I have a lot more confidence now – I’ll quite happily speak in front of people. I wouldn’t have done that in school.

I didn’t tell anyone at school I had autism – even my closest friends didn’t know. When I was a kid I didn’t like the way PE shorts felt and you couldn’t get me to wear shorts for the life of me – it would be the world’s hottest day and I would still be in jeans or jogging pants.

Autism was just not something I felt confident to share or relevant to share at the time, but now I see kids coming through and struggle with things that I struggled with.

Since leaving school, everything evolved around motor-sport, and I went to college to do motor-sport engineering. At the time, I decided I didn’t like getting my hands dirty so I decided to go down the management route instead.

I started working at TeamKarting part-time at university, got myself fired, rehired, and then eventually bought the business with my business partner Chris.

By the time I was 21, I had qualifications, was a business owner and employed 30 people.

I’m a completely different person to how I was in school. Back then I wouldn’t say boo to a goose. Now if I’m doing a deal, I would quite happily walk away because it’s my way or no way.

I feel like I’ve got that insight to be able to help and share my experiences to make it a little bit better for them.

My biggest achievement is helping people with similar backgrounds to me defy all the misconceptions that come with it.

Advice to others? Own your own story. Just because someone says you shouldn’t be able to do something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go.

Want some information or support? Click here

Give Us A Break Anti-Bullying Week 2019

Give Us A Break Anti-Bullying Week 2019

Born anxious are very proud to support Anna Kennedy launching her nationally recognised anti bullying campaign

#GUAB #Giveusabreak

Born anxious supply label free sensory clothing for children and adults with sensory needs such as Autism, SPD sensory processing disorders, all clothing, T-shirts and bags are 100% organic and all come printed with subtle reminders, to be kind to others because we are not all the same.

Kellie Barker creator of Bornanxious and Anna Kennedy OBE ,founder of UK Autism Charity Annakennedyonline and #Giveusabreak campaign. #GUAB #GiveUsABreak!

This campaign has been organised by the charity and run during Anti-bullying week for the last number of years by the charity Anna Kennedy online, it has grown in success and support for its following.

Bullying effects thousands and thousands of adults and children every year.

Anti bullying week is Monday 11th November – Friday 15th November.

The collection can be found – follow this link: https://www.bornanxious.co.uk/born-anxious-collection/give-us-a-break-8lmab

Children like Sophia.

Sophia Owens is 11 years old and from Rushde, Northamptonshire, she has been singing and dancing from a young age. 

She has performed at her majesty’s theatre. And Sadler’s wells and has also competed in National finals at the Winter gardens in Blackpool. Sophia has two elder brothers, both diagnosed on the spectrum and attends a special school.

Sophia also performed a live stage dance at Autism’s got talent and won a scholarship through the charity at Pineapple Performing Arts.

Sophia Owens #GUAB anti bullying campaign #giveusabreak #AnnaKennedyonline #antibullyingweek2019 @Annakennedy1

The Give Us A Break campaign with Anna Kennedy call on all schools, colleges, work places and social events to join the #GUAB campaign and help to make a real change to the lives of all  people effected, including people with Autism and other neurological and physical disabilities, by helping people to have the courage to speak up and understand that it is NOT OK to bully in any form.

Anna Kennedy Online is dedicated to providing Autism awareness,acceptance, training and understanding to both schools, colleges and within the community to help create a better environment so that all our children can thrive.

Click here to view the collection!

‪#GUAB #antibullyingweek #giveusabreak

AKO Charity Christmas Cards 2019

AKO Charity Christmas Cards 2019

Designed by Patrick Steele-Bodger and our Ambassador Harvey Price.

Each pack contains ten assorted Christmas cards.

Only £3.50 per pack!

Plus £1.50 postage and packing

Buy your AKO Charity Christmas Cards 2019!

£ 5.00
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Donation Total: £5.00

Harvey Price performs in Autism’s Got Talent as he shows off his keyboard skills

Harvey Price performs in Autism’s Got Talent as he shows off his keyboard skills

HARVEY Price showed off his impressive keyboard playing at a talent show for autistic people last night. Harvey, 17,  was accompanied by his mum Katie, 41, and siblings Princess, 12, Bunny, 4, and Jett, 5,  for the Autism’s Got Talent event in Ruislip, West London.

The show, which is the brainchild of charity Anna Kennedy Online, is designed to show what adults and children with autism are capable of and how the condition is no barrier to success. And Harvey, who as well as being on the autistic spectrum also has eye  condition septo-optic dysplasia and the genetic disorder Prader-Willi syndrome, certainly showed what he is made of as he tinkered away on the keyboard.

Harvey has been practising for the show for some time, as documented on his mum’s Quest Red reality show, Katie Price: My Crazy Life.And the young lad was certainly excited on his way to the event yesterday, as Katie filmed him for her Instagram stories. Despite initially complaining “I’m knackered mum”, he perked up when Katie asked him if he was too tired to perform in Autism’s Got Talent.”No mum,” he insisted, before repeatedly telling his mum that he loved her.

Katie, who wore a jumper with the slogan ‘Live for a cause, not for applause’ to the event, was full of pride for her first-born and encouraged him all the way there. She told him: “Mummy is so proud of you Price, can’t wait to watch you tonight,. Neither can Jett, Bunny and Princess. we love you Harv.”And in a later story, she told him: “You are stunning. handsome you are. I love you. We all love you sooo much.”

Harvey certainly made an impression on the charity’s CEO Anna Kennedy when he arrived at the event. She posted a picture of him on her Instagram account wearing the Autism’s Got Talent  t-shirt. “Lovely to meet Harvey who loved his t-shirt so much he wore it straight away,” she wrote.

Click here for the full article.

Autism’s got Talent Roadshow another smash hit!

Autism’s got Talent Roadshow another smash hit!

On Saturday 12th October at the Winston Churchill Theatre in Ruislip the Autism Charity ‘Anna Kennedy Online’  once again, presented the ‘Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow’.

This was a fabulous event not only for the audience but also those performers coming together to join us on the stage.We brought together a diverse group of people from across the UK and local talent to Ruislip who are all on the Autistic Spectrum to show everyone just how talented they really are. Celebrities supporting the event were Katie Price, Charlie Brooks, Vickie Michelle, Ionica Adriana and the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon.

Katie was proud to support her son Harvey on stage and  Harvey, who as well as being on the autistic spectrum also has eye condition septo-optic dysplasia and the genetic disorder Prader-Willi syndrome, certainly showed what he is made of singing and playing on the keyboard receiving a standing ovation by the audience.

There were many standing ovations on the night for our performers the Mayor of Hillingdon was blown away and was clearly moved by the performers and then shared with the audience and Anna Kennedy on stage :

‘I have watched you over the last 20 years Anna setting up the school for your sons and tonight this show has shown what these young performers can really do. Anna your passion to raise awareness and acceptance throughout the years is clear to see for all. ‘

Anna Kennedy believes :

‘Too often some people in our society make the mistake of thinking that our children and adults on the spectrum are not capable of much……well HOLD THE PRESS…….we are showing everyone just what all our performers really are capable of and just how amazing they are at it!!

Talent comes in many forms and performers on the night ranging from singers, rappers and dancers, musicians and a poet. We had some great children and adults who performed not only as soloists but they came together to perform in groups, eg the street dancers from Hillingdon Manor School ‘Autism with Attitude’ this is something we are all too often told is not possible for those on the Autistic Spectrum! ‘

It was a night that opened the eyes of those who previously didn’t realise just what someone diagnosed with autism can be capable of.

We wanted people to see the show or hear/read about it from others so they stop and understand just how capable that person they always ignore or walk past really could be. Sometimes small reasonable adjustments can make a HUGE difference within society so that they can navigate this world just like everyone else.

No event is right without a red carpet so we had one there for all to stop and take their own pictures with our VIP celebrities!

Everyone was welcome and we did our very best to ensure that the evening was open to all. This is not just a performance for those on the spectrum to appear in but also for those that can to come and join us in the audience to enjoy themselves and also be inspired to start building on their own talent. A few parents have already messaged Anna to share their sons and daughter are inspired to send their entries in for next years roadshows and main event in London.

This was a proud night for Anna and her team of volunteers as well as the performers and their family and friends with many a laugh and lots of fun enjoyed by all.

Source: https://london-post.co.uk/autisms-got-talent-roadshow-another-smash-hit/

Month: October 2019