Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity

Yesterday I travelled to Team Karting UK in Rochdale to see Matty Street the CEO. Matty is 21 years old and has been passionate about motor sport since a young age and he has built a life around his passion. Matty shares ‘They say you never work a day in your life if you work your passion. I love what I do and have achieved great success so far building the UK’s highest rated karting track in the UK.’

Matty was diagnosed with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Asperger’s from a young age and he found it to be a struggle day to day struggle growing up but luckily an amazing opportunity presented itself for Matty to take part to race a go-kart fully funded for a year with a £30k scholarship. This fantastic opportunity turned his life around.

The new found hobby gave him a focus. Matty became more confident and felt less vulnerable. So much so he went from a potential school drop out to university student in 5 years

Matty now studied Motorsport at College and University. During his time at University he started working part time at a karting track in Rochdale (TeamKarting) and within 10 months he was promoted to Senior Manager and 2 years later I bought the business which turns over £500k+P/A.

TeamKarting is Matty’s life and reflects his moral compass. He shared with me that he strongly believes that we have a responsibility to reinvest back into the grass roots of motorsport and make it more inclusive and open to all irrespective of physical, mental, academic and cultural background.

That is why Team Karting offer a number of bespoke sessions to meet a number of needs. Matty has made it TeamKarting’s mission to increase participation in grassroots motorsports by innovating low cost solutions to make motorsport more affordable and accessible.

I am pleased to share that Team Karting also specialise in being Autism Friendly. They offer 1 on 1 karting sessions, coaching, advice and guidance. Matty and he team have a culture of patience, understanding and support making Team Karting very popular within his local community.

Team Karting invest in some pretty cool equipment. Matty shares they are the only karting track in the UK to have a 2 seater go-kart and a specially adapted hand control kart.

Yesterday I was pleased to meet one of our Autism Hero winners the  talented young karters Sandro Ballesteros.Team Karting is helping Sandro to further his and other young children on the autism spectrum motorsport careers and give them the opportunity’s

Matty and I spoke about his big Community projects, such as our Racing With Autism Day where 40-50 school students came to the track to learn how to kart free of charge for a full day with a Canadian Karting champion (Austin Riley). From this they were able to put likeminded people together and helped build new friendships, click here to read an article on this.

Matty was proud to tell me that they have become the highest rated karting track in the UK on Facebook, Google and Trip Advisor. At the end of my visit I felt the adrenaline rush of driving one of Marty’s karts .It was so much fun. I was so impressed with Matty and can see him develop his passion and business further with lots of Team Karting Tracks across the country. He is a true role model for young people diagnosed with Aspergers and such a lovely young man.

Anna Kennedy OBE

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