Motorsport stars nominated for Variety Club Disability Sports Awards

Friday 27 October 2023

Three names from the world of British motorsport have been nominated for a prestigious Variety Club Disability Sports Award, the only annual national sports awards exclusively for disability sports.

The Variety Club Disability Sports Award celebrates and champions people with disabilities in sports. With awards across many levels, roles, locations, and sports, the Awards aim to make the sporting world a more diverse and inclusive place.

Nathalie McGloin, the only female tetraplegic racing driver in the world, has been nominated for a Champion for Change Award on account of her ongoing work to get more disabled community members in the driving seat. In 2015 Nathalie became the first female with a spinal injury to be granted a racing licence in the UK and in 2019 set up Spinal Track, a charity dedicated to giving free Track Days and Rally Experiences to disabled drivers. Nathalie is also the Chair of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission.

Nicolas Hamilton has been nominated for the Sports Icon Award alongside Neil Fachie MBE, Para Cycling and Alfie Hewett, Wheelchair Tennis. The younger brother of multiple Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Nicolas lives with cerebral palsy however pushes himself to the limits in the British Touring Car Championship, one of the UK’s toughest racing series. When he made his graduation to the Championship in 2015 he made history as the first disabled driver ever to race in Britain’s premier motorsport series.

The Community and Clubs Award category sees Loughborough Car Club nominated for a gong. For over a decade, Loughborough Car Club has offered a unique opportunity for two disabled drivers to win a year of club motorsport, completely free of charge. Each year multiple candidates from across the country come together at Bicester Heritage for a day of assessments designed to assess car control, determination and attitude. The two most promising drivers are subsequently offered an opportunity to drive in a series of club AutoSOLO and Autotest events, with Motorsport UK and Loughborough Car Club covering the cost of participation for the successful pair.

Jessica Runicles, Head of Sustainability, commented: “It is important for the work done by members of the disabled motorsport community to be celebrated. Ambassadors such as Nathalie McGloin and Nicolas Hamilton, and car clubs such as Loughborough, have shown that sustained success is possible on track, but have also allowed the disabled community to access – and subsequently enjoy – motorsport. Recognising those efforts via the Variety Awards will not only showcase their pioneering efforts but also inspire others to follow the opportunities they have created.”

The awards ceremony will be hosted on 30 October in Leeds by comedian and disability advocate Adam Hills MBE and Chief Executive Officer of GB Snowsport and Chair of British Surfing Vicky Gosling OBE, with performances from comedians Rosie Jones and Katerina Vrana.