15th July 2022 – Vision Sports Ireland in partnership with Motorsport Ireland, provide an experience of a lifetime for 80 blind and vision impaired participants who took to the Mondello Park racetrack on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th July 2022.
Returning for its second year, with support from Sport Ireland and corporate sponsor Windsor Motor Group, the event was held across two days, doubling participation numbers from the inaugural event in 2021, selling out in less than two hours.
During the morning session, participants got behind the wheel of hybrid and electric dual control Opel Corsa cars, offering a unique driving experience. Participant Sean McDowell commented, ‘’It was brilliant. Just over two years ago, driving was something I took for granted but after a brain injury, unfortunately I thought sport was done with, never mind driving again. To get the thrill from being in control and being able to drive again was a big thing today and definitely gave me a whole lot of enjoyment. It’s something I look forward to doing again.’’
Vision Sports was also delighted to welcome Sport Ireland CEO, Dr. Una May to officially launch the event on Monday 11th July. In her welcome address, Dr. May commented on the vision for sport in Ireland through NGB lead initiatives, ”We would like to see that there are no limits and no barriers for anyone to take part in sport and Zero Limits sums that up”
Sara McFadden, Ireland’s first Visually Impaired Rally Navigator and Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy Member also inspired participants, encapsulating the ethos of Zero Limits, ‘’My moral in life is don’t let anything stop you, nothing should stand in your way. If there something you want to do, there is a hundred ways to do everything, you try find that way! Motorsport is not the first thing you think of when it comes to vision impairment and it was something I always wanted to do, so we worked around it and made it happen.’’
Vision Sports were additionally delighted to welcome special guest Irish rallying legend, Rosemary Smith, who cheered on participants in the afternoon as they took to the rally stage of the event alongside some of Ireland’s finest rally drivers with a number of new additions this year’s line-up including social media star Jason McConnon. Cars on offer to participants included R2, R5, 4 Wheel Drive Evos, MkII Escorts, Drift Cars, and some rapid Front Wheel Drive machinery.
Ciaran Phelan, a Rally Driver who provided his car and volunteered over both days commented ‘’It is very important when people in Motorsport get an opportunity like this, they give something back making motorsport more inclusive and seem less elitist or a sport out of reach for so many. The sense of fulfilment was unbelievable.’’
Additional imagery from the event can be viewed at Vision Sports Ireland Changing Perceptions with Zero Limits Track Day – Vision Sports Ireland