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Ambassadors

Individuals with a shared interest in kettlebell training, and dedicated to raising awareness about autism spectrum disorder.

Nichol Cruz Sanderson & Will Parker, Girya Garage

Nic and WillWill and Nic

Nichol and Will began their support of those affected by autism, long before becoming ambassadors of KB4A. In September 2013, participating in a local Autism Speaks event, Nichol and Will added a kettlebell spin to the fundraising walk, and carried kettlebells during a 3 mile hike on the Richmond International Raceway. In 2014, Will contributed the first workout to the Kettlebells 4 Autism blog, and Nicol posted a daily 90 second challenge to raise funds for the KB4A90 event. Their support continued with Girya Garage hosting a Kettlebell Sport event, and registration funds donated to beneficiaries of KB4A. We’re so happy to have Nichol, Will, and the good people of Girya Garage behind us.

Cynthia Roulston, a teacher, and tremendous athlete.

I spent over a decade as a personal support worker for adults and children with various disabilities and had the amazing privilege of working for some of the most innovative service agencies in Canada. During this time I was supposed to be the one teaching and facilitating an independent lifestyle for my clients that involved supportingthem to advocate for themselves and teaching them the skills necessary to live a positive and inclusive life in their community. What I gained from those experiences was so much more. I learned patience, effective communication skills and the ability to listen…and I mean really listen. I met some amazing people who positively changed my life forever.

Many of the clients I supported were living with autism. There was nothing more gratifying for me then gaining the trust and respect of the people I supported and their families. For them to recognize me as a safe person who was going to respect their needs and goals without judgment was reallypowerful. To provide parents with a much needed break without worry because their caregiver actually understood their child. I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher/educator but I feel these experiences made me a much more effective one. It has shaped who I am as a person and I am so grateful.

When Christina Danos (creator of KB4A) told me about her desire to form KB4A I didn’t even need to think about it, I knew I wanted to be involved. Anything that will help further our understanding of autism and help those with it live their lives to their fullest potential is something I definitely want to support. As a teacher, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in the classroom is on the rise, and yet the general population still knows so little about it. I am also interested in the development of curriculum that addresses this issue and helps support teachers to create an inclusive classroom community where autism is better understood and accepted. ~Cynthia

Ray LeBlanc, S.P.E.E.D. Strength & Conditioning

I have been an enthusiastic supporter of KB4A since I first learned about the 90 seconds of Swings event. KB4A 

combines two things that I am very passionate about, and as soon as I heard about what KB4A was doing I realized that I could really make a difference for this great cause that means so much to me. What makes it even better is that I am able to contribute through a vehicle that I love and live by- physical fitness and kettlebells. To me, so many aspects of proper scientific training principles and practices are grossly mis-understood by the majority of the general public, not unlike Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I spend my working life trying to educate people on science based principles of training, and being able to do this to help raise money for science in autism treatment, is a blessing. ~Ray

Ray LeBlanc, Head Coach at S.P.E.E.D. Strength & Conditioning
Honours. B.Sc (Kinesiology), B.Ed., NSCA-CSCS, CSEP-CEP, AKC, OCT

Andrew Ciccarelli, Brash Fitness Strength & Conditioning 

“How have I never heard of Kettlebell’s 4 Autism and how can I be a part of this?”- that was my immediate thought when I first saw a picture of the KB4A t-shirt online. I contacted Kettlebells 4 Autism shortly after, pledging my support in any way shape or form. 

KB4A combines kettlebell sport and fitness, two major components of my life, but it binds them in support of a cause that has touched 

my life greatly. I have witnessed first hand what proper support and education can mean to the lives of individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD] and their families. My best little [well, not so little anymore] buddy, now 14 years old, lives with ASD. I have watched him grow from an 8 month old baby, to first being diagnosed to now being a year away from entering high school! Luckily Matt has had the support and the love of family and organizations like the Geneva Centre for Autism along the way.

For me, creating awareness, spreading the word of Kettlebells 4 Autism and raising money is the least I can do.  ~Andrew  

Erika Andrews- studying Fitness Leadership, Kettlebell Sport athlete

The posts on Facebook about the 90 Seconds of Swings challenge, back in February 2013, really caught my attention. I admired her passion for putting two things that she cared deeply about together, to inspire and help others. Training with kettlebells has been a big part of my life; helping build physical and mental strength, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to help bring the Kettlebells4Autism movement to a greater audience. While training with kettlebells and meeting so many great people at competitions, (without even knowing it) our social skills are enhanced, months of training build discipline and focus; critiquing little details of the lift that can make all the difference in our form and success. By supporting and promoting Kettlebells4Autism, we can help those with Autism by providing them opportunities to develop some of these same principles we develop through training and competing, all while educating the general public and creating a greater awareness – everyone wins! ~Erika

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