Allie’s 26 Mile Roller Skate Challenge for Autism Charity
A 25-year-old woman with autism from Bedale takes on a 26-mile roller skating challenge to raise money for Ambitious about Autism.
Allie Mason will travel to Germany to compete in the Berlin Inline Skating Marathon on Saturday September 24th.
Allie, was 23 when she was diagnosed with autism only after reading an article in Women’s Health magazine that prompted her to seek counselling.
She said: ‘The author had written about how she had been misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety, only to later find out she was in fact autistic. I recognized so many of my experiences in her writing and knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to find out if I was the same.
Allie describes her diagnosis as a “bittersweet moment”. She added: “Although it answers a lot of questions that had been piling up since childhood. On the other hand, it highlighted that a lot of the struggles when I was younger could have been avoided with the right support. Some of these struggles formed the barrier that prevented me from leading the active and adventurous life that I dreamed of.”
Allie rediscovered her passion for skating in confinement. “Growing up, I was never considered an ‘athletic’ kid. Rather the opposite. Whenever I tried to get involved, there always seemed to be an invisible barrier holding me back. It wasn’t until I was finally diagnosed that I realized what this obstacle was.
Allie is now an outdoor advocate and has written a manual to inspire others called “The Autistic Guide to Adventure”. It will be released in April 2023.
Ambitious about Autism is the national charity that cares for children and young people with autism. She defends rights, advocates for change and creates opportunity.
Allie said: “Ambitious about Autism understands that the right support unlocks the potential of a child or young person with autism. They don’t see autism as a deficit, but rather as a different way of thinking that requires a different from life in order to flourish.
Danae Leaman-Hill, the association’s fundraising director, said: “We are delighted that Allie has chosen to raise funds for Ambitious about Autism and we wish her well in Berlin. It’s wonderful that Allie’s particular interest in the sport has given her incredible motivation to take on such a daunting challenge and achieve her ambitions.
Allie attended Bedale Primary and Secondary School before going to Year Six at Ripon Grammar School and York St John’s University. Allie performed as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty with Bedale-based pantomime troupe ‘The Parish Players’ as a teenager. Her parents, grandparents and brother live in the town, she currently lives in Cheltenham.