It is one of the most imaginative sporting events of the year and great to see Vision Sports Ireland in partnership with Motorsport Ireland, providing an experience of a lifetime for 80 blind and vision impaired participants who took to the Mondello Park racetrack last week.
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.
“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,” said participant Sean McDowell.
“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.
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.”
“My moral in life is don’t let anything stop you, nothing should stand in your way,” said Sara McFadden, Ireland’s first Visually Impaired Rally Navigator and Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy Member who was also part of the team across the two days.
“If there is something you want to do, there are a hundred ways to do everything, and 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.
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.”
Sport for Business Partners