Follow on Google News
News By Tag
News By Place
Follow on Google News
World Champion Masters Boxer fights for autism and ADHD acceptance
By: Priceless Media
A proud Wiradjuri man from the Albury region of New South Wales, Buddy Oldman fights for those in need of inclusion and support every time he steps into the ring. As well as Aboriginal and mental health, autism and ADHD acceptance are very close to Buddy's heart, as he was recently diagnosed with ADHD himself, and both his son and grandson are neurodiverse and autistic. With every fight, he aims to break down the stigma surrounding autism and ADHD by dedicating his wins to those in the community who are neurodiverse.
"This isn't something we should only be talking about in April, this something we should be talking about every day," says Buddy Oldman. "Autism acceptance should be being talked about everywhere and all the time. We should be educating the next generation in our school system about embracing what makes people different, and not fearing it."
"Not only that, but boxing is the perfect sport for neurodiverse people," he continues. "Even with pad work, it allows you to focus in on the combinations at hand. I also know first-hand how good an emotional release boxing is. It's a sport for everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from."
To the WGBC Masters World Champion, removing the stigma around such topics as mental health and neurodiversity is something worth fighting for, because he knows first-hand how destructive it is to keep quiet about it. Buddy struggled with PTSD and depression for much of his adult life because of the traumatic experience of being sexually assaulted as a child. When he took up the sport of boxing at the age of 48, his whole life changed. In a few short years, he has risen to be the 50 to 55 year Australian champion in the 71-75kg weight group.
Each time Buddy walks up to the ring, he is led by someone with mental health concerns, autism, or ADHD as a sign of inclusion in what he is doing. Buddy's next fight will be at the Gairy St Clair Superhero Fight Night on Friday, July 7, 2023, and he plans to be walked out by someone who needs to know that they are loved and accepted for who they are.
Buddy says, "These are the people I fight for; I don't fight for myself. My win is their win. If my win comes with a belt and a title, I donate the belt to them and dedicate my win to them. To me, that is how you show acceptance and inclusion."