Finding his voice; Jake's story

Jake Sparey is an inspiration. We heard, in his own words, how he triumphed despite his difficulties, and achieved his dreams…

Racing towards his dreams

“Autism has been difficult for me to understand. I was diagnosed in secondary school without really understanding what it was until I got older.

“People would say I was weird, I would find myself talking to the corner of a room instead of to somebody’s face and I would find out some of what I said was just not normal. I didn’t feel normal. I felt alien compared to everyone. Until I became an e-sports commentator.

Jake Sports, arts and entertainment LDA Leaders' List 2018

“From starting work in late 2015, I have finally been able to realise one of my ambitions, which is to be a full-time announcer on the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix series, which was one of my goals when I started. It has allowed me to pursue a career path I had never thought possible, plus opened me up to new opportunities which seem a world away from where I began.

“Alongside being a sports journalism student at Solent University, I have been able to work alongside Racespot TV, Sim Speed TV and The Global Sim Racing Channel.

“Through this I have broadcast to people around the world, loving every second of what I do. But more than that, it’s a release to be able to talk without the pressures of social anxiety. It’s just me, the microphone, and the action.

“I have also been able to set up my own dedicated website, the Sim Racing Observer, which has been pivotal for me to express my views on a developing industry, as well as being a tool that has been used by people like Fernando Alonso to scout sim racing talents.

Autistic and proud

“Without trying to manage my autism, I would have been just another person who slipped between the cracks of society. With the foundations of my virtual world, I can broadcast globally, not just from my room, but at dedicated events in Germany and Switzerland too.

“I am Jake Sparey, 20 -autistic and proud.”