In 2015 8 Breakthrough Interventions staff joined the Spar ladies 5km race to try and raise awareness about Autism by wearing Autism related t-shirts. After the event a client asked if she could join us the following year. Realising others may want to do the same, we decided to join the ECR big walk in 2016 so that families could join us to raise awareness. We had approximately 50 people walk with us that year, some families of children with ASD, some staff members and some children on the Autism spectrum. Later that year while participating in a 10km run with her husband the breakthrough interventions director was struck with the idea that if WE hosted a fun run event, EVERYONE who took part could be made aware of ASD.
A small committee was formed with 2 other parents of children with ASD and we set about planning the first Blue and You Autism awareness run. Apart from raising awareness about ASD, we saw the run as an opportunity to raise funds for an Autism therapy centre which could not only provide therapy but also sponsor children with ASD who are from low income families.
April is International Autism Awareness Month and on 29 April 2017, 316 parents, therapists, teachers and people with Autism participated in our event. Although others have followed, we were the first in South Africa to hold an Autism awareness fun run. In 2018 the number of registrations doubled, and we had such a fantastic response from the Autism community that we had to close registration 4 days before the event as we had reached our capacity at our run venue.
We are now registered as a non profit organisation and intend to continue hosting the Blue and you Autism run on an annual basis.