A martial artist from Lowestoft has been named as a finalist for an impressive list celebrating the notable achievements of people with learning disabilities and autism.
Rory Lark was nominated by the team at Sanctuary Supported Living’s award-winning disability service, Clover Court, and has been shortlisted in the Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Category for Dimensions UK‘s Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List, for being a talented competitor in martial arts.
The 35-year-old suffered a head injury when he was five years old which left him without the use of this left arm and with moderate learning disabilities. He now has two dedicated keyworkers at Clover Court who support him to live as independently as possible. Competing in martial arts since he was a teenager, and specialising in Krav Maga, Rory delivers training for street defence techniques for disabled adults, and he was the first person with a disability to compete at the 2017 World Martial Arts Games. Whilst competing in Florida, he exceeded all his expectations by winning three gold medals.
Initiatives like the Leaders’ List is the first of its kind and pays homage to the extraordinary achievements of people with learning disabilities and autism, which can help ensure that people with these conditions have improved representation. The Leaders’ List also helps to address the challenging stigmas that are associated with learning disabilities and autism and shine a spotlight on a variety of people who are taking a lead in their lives and making things better for themselves and others across the UK.
Resident Rory Lark Rory Lark said: “It’s a privilege to be recognised for my achievements and an honour to be nominated and shortlisted for the Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List.”
Local Service Manager, David Perkins, said: “We’re so proud of Rory, who has a record of outstanding achievements – not just in sport – but in living life to the fullest! He’s become much more independent in his daily living skills, and part of the community here at Clover Court. We’re thrilled that he’s being recognised for taking a lead in his life, and we know that Rory will continue to give it his all in both his sporting achievements and personal achievements.”
The winner of the Leaders’ List for 2022 is due to be announced mid-November, with the list being published on Friday 2 December.