OFFICIAL RELEASE 140423, Racing with Autism Australia.
Following in the footsteps of sports such as the NRL and AFL, Motorsport in NSW will now be more inclusive and accessible for people with autism and sensory sensitivities. At selected events, RWAA will be operating a safe space/chillout room in one of the suites in the North Druitt building at SMSP, kindly provided by the ARDC.
The first event of the collaboration will be on the Sunday of the Motorsport Australia NSW Motorsport Championships – held at Sydney Motorsport Park on April 16. RWAA will be operating out of Suite 4 and hope to welcome a new group of motorsport fans to the track, providing pit tours as well as a place to decompress and relax when the action becomes a little too overwhelming.
Racing with Autism Australia is a project that aims to raise awareness and acceptance of Autism Spectrum Disorder by showcasing the unique and talented individuals who are involved in motorsport/racing who themselves are on the Autism Spectrum. They offer an educational approach to our project with the goal of inspiring people from all walks of life. Although they acknowledge the importance of ongoing awareness, they are passionate about creating educational, inclusive and inspirational environments and do so thanks to the support of companies such as luxury car retailers YTG Bespoke as well as NSW Kart Team and NSW Kart School
One of the many purposes of Racing with Autism Australia (RWAA) is to support racers by sharing their stories, including their achievements and their everyday struggles, with the hope of not just gaining awareness for autism but creating inclusive environments and educating many.
As well as some of our supported racers, RWAA also will be attending with their NSW-based mentors to talk to the kids and adults.
Dan Holihan is the creator and host of the ground-breaking ‘On the Couch with Hooly’ podcast as well as being the 2022 NSW Formula Ford 1600 State Champion, 2017 HSRCA Historic State Champion and 2007 NSKC Club Champion. Dan is also on the autism spectrum and loves to show kids and adults alike exactly what can be done with a dream, a never say die attitude and a great work ethic.
Lachlan Ward is our other attending RWAA mentor and is the driver of the Productivity Bootcamp #117 Camaro in the Battery World Aussie Race Car Series (who last year was the highest placed Rookie driver and narrowly placed second in the overall championship). As well as being a previous Formula Ford and Legend Car series winner, Lachlan is a gifted coach and through his positions as head coach at NSW Kart School and NSW Kart Team has been working with drivers on the Autism Spectrum for many years now.
Pheels will also be in attendance with their sensory-friendly clothing for kids that feature soft fabrics, are tag-free, have flat seams and sensory-friendly designs.