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Asperger’s can be a big advantage in Sport Canada

Aboriginal Sport Circle President, Alwyn Morris, Honourable Minister Qualtrough and Sport for Life CEO, Richard Way

During these unprecedented times of the Truth and Reconciliation Era, how is government is going to make its first steps with regards to recommendations #87 to #91 in the Sports and Reconciliation section of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.  We have a new leader in the Honourable Minister Carla Qualtrough. Not only an elected leader, but an example of what a person with a disability, and the power of sport, can bring to the table. The Honorable Minister is visually impaired and competed in the paralympic games for swimming. She is an accomplished human rights lawyer with a stellar reputation in the sports community, having served on several boards, at many levels of sport organizations during her rise to her current position. Despite these obvious personal qualifications, like any leader she can only be as effective in the execution of her vision as her team is. Minister Qualtrough is responsible for the Ministry of Persons with Disability and Sport, which is fitting since we are talking about both. She has a great opportunity to find herself on the right side of history, moving forward on the key decisions that will have to be made.

A couple of years ago (2015), Tech Entrepreneur and Paypal founder Peter Thiel shared his comments on how “Asperger’s is an advantage in Silicon Valley” with the Business Insider. Reflecting on the article in the context of my own experiences as a person diagnosed with High-Functioning Asperger’s Syndrome, I found it inspiring and fundamentally true.

Ten years earlier I wanted to be like Peter Thiel, a pioneer in sport technology solutions and an astute investor in the sport technology projects I was interested in. At the time, I did not know I was Autistic.  I would come to learn this through my journey in sport technology in Canada, which has spanned more than a decade. In 2004 I already had a decade of computer programming and entrepreneurial success during the dot com bubble. I would go on to invest over $600,000.00 of my own money and more than 14 years of my time pursuing my dreams of sport technology within Canada.

This is a sample from the LTAD Kaizen iBook. The rest of this chapter can be read in LTAD Kaizen iBook available on the iBooks store.

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