Biggleswade trainer to open up and tell all at mental health talk
PUBLISHED: 11:55 25 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:55 25 July 2018
A former karting champion from Biggleswade is to tell his story at a mental health talk in King’s Reach next week.
Lee Kemp, 42, is holding an event called ‘my story’ at the Orchard Community Centre in Sullivan Court on Tuesday to talk about his experiences with anxiety.
Speaking to the Comet, Lee said: “I have never told my story to anyone, not fully anyway.
“I grew up in a motorsport background and started racing karts at age of eight, so to other kids I seemed ‘privileged’.
“This led to my senior years at school being bullied as ‘the rich, spoilt kid’.
“It was only ever mental bullying but to me that’s the worst as it was each and every day. There was just no let up.
“Other factors added to my ever increasing low self-esteem, low self-confidence and the start of the anxiety that would rule my life – mixed with ‘drinking to forget’ every night, which no-one knows about.”
As well as his own personal mental health troubles, Lee also lost a close friend who took his own life after hiding his depression.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. In 2015, 75 per cent of all UK suicides were male.
Lee decided to change career three months ago, and he says it has transformed his life.
“In my racing and professional career I’ve been very successful,” he said.
“I became British karting champion in 2009. In 2006 I was awarded global salesman of the year, but even after all this my aniexty remained.
“Three months ago, I decided to quit a £40,000-a-year job and train to become personal trainer and boxing coach.
“I use fitness as the key to controlling my anxiety.
“For the first time in my life I’ve regained control, and I am the one that controls the aniexty rather than the other way around.”
Lee now hopes his talk will help others.
He said: “Through my story I hope to inspire others and show that a person wearing nice suits, living in a nice house and driving nice cars doesn’t mean anything.
“What people display on the outside doesn’t always reflect what’s on the inside.”
If you would like to attend Lee’s talk, it starts at 7pm on Tuesday, July 31, at the Orchard Community Centre.