Celebrating Disability Pride Month
July is Disability Pride Month, and an opportunity for Motorsport UK to highlight the steps it is taking to open up new pathways into the sport for disabled drivers, from the grassroots to the very top.
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion is a priority topic for Motorsport UK, and as a demonstration of its commitment to facilitating safe, fair, fun and sustainable motorsport for ALL, the governing body created its EDI Committee. Catherine Bond Muir, founder and CEO of W Series was invited to chair its newest committee, which was ratified by the Board at the end of 2020.
The aim was to not only engage in the conversation around ‘EDI’ but to make a difference through meaningful action.
Positive steps have already been taken in recent years with our programmes supporting disability and accessibility, women in motorsport, and in addressing the affordability of participation, particularly at the entry level. However, there is much more work to be done to change the culture to one that values and celebrates diversity and enables the full involvement of disadvantaged groups.
Such is the necessity and importance of gaining a deep understanding of the various issues around EDI, the decision was taken to form four sub-committees, so that resulting actions are relevant.
The Disability and Accessibility Sub-Committee is chaired by Nathalie McGloin, the inaugural President of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission and the only female tetraplegic racing driver in the world. Paralysed in a road accident aged just 16, Nathalie has been a passionate and dedicated advocate for disabled motorsport competitors ever since she started racing in 2015, helping to break down barriers that obstruct full and effective participation.
When Nathalie started her motorsport career, she became the first female with a spinal injury to be granted a racing licence in the UK, and in 2019, the first ever female disabled rally driver.
Commenting on the vision for Motorsport UK’s Disability and Accessibility Sub-Committee, Nathalie said: ‘I’m really excited about the future of disabled motorsport in the UK. I’ve seen genuine passion from people at the very top of Motorsport UK about helping to not only move this subject forward, but to actively put in place initiatives to further open up our sport to disabled people. This Committee isn’t a token gesture, it’s the start of something that can and will make a real difference. I’m so excited to be part of this journey.’
Over the coming months Motorsport UK look forward to sharing further news on the work of the sub-committee in encouraging others to pursue a similarly inspiring journey.
In the meantime, the following resources may be of interest: