#53 Matt Formston – Diagnosed Legally Blind at 5, Surfing 50 Foot Waves at Nazare, Winning Cycling World Champs and Never Saying the Word Can’t

At 5 years of age when Matt Formston lost his vision, doctors and teachers told him he would never play sport and his career aspirations were over. Matt didn’t listen.

He played multiple sports as a child including rugby league, ice hockey and surfing, progressing to win gold and silver medals at the 2014 and 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships and representing Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Matt also holds four world Surfing titles and recently conquered one of the world’s most dangerous waves in the Atlantic waters on the coast of Portugal, called Nazare.

Matt is Head of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility for Optus Business and is a sought-after keynote speaker and business coach, with an inspiring message on high performing teams, resilient leadership and the secret weapon of being present. Matt, his wife Rebecca and their three active children live in Lennox Head and he is a passionate Manly Sea Eagles supporter.

In this episode Andrew and Matt discuss:

5:00 Losing his sight at 5 years old, playing rep rugby and how Matts parents set him up for future success.

12:45 Being able to hear the speed of a tennis ball within 2 km/h and how Matt is able to pick up on the energy in a room.

18:00 People not using their senses properly and Mat’s passion working work with young kids.

23:00 Matts downward spiral and struggle with alcohol and drugs, and his road to recovery.

33:25 The start of Matts cycling career and his beautiful partnership with Mick Curran.

39:00 Matt’s first ride to Melbourne using echolocation, and how he sets goals.

47:50 The start of Matt’s surfing career and his wife’s reaction to the career shift from two wheels to wax and water.

54:35 Hating losing with a passion and Matt’s legacy.

1:01:10 Surfing Nazare and the preparation involved putting together a world-class team.

1:13:30 Earning achievements, writing an accessible children’s book and family.

1:20:45 Performance Uncovered.

1:35:35 Andrew and the Wizard’s reflections.


Go to the Matt’s Websitehttps://www.wnow.com.au/

You can find Matt at his Linkedinhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/tadhg-kennelly-2787a985/


or book him at the TLA website: https://tlaworldwide.com/talent/matt-formston/

Find out more about the Performance Intelligence Masterclasshttps://rb.gy/xexsz

Find out more about Andrew’s Keynotes : https://www.andrewmay.com/keynotes/

Follow Andrew Mayhttps://www.instagram.com/andrewmay/

Follow StriveStrongerhttps://www.instagram.com/strive.stronger/

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