Randle’s charitable mission at Sandown
Tuesday 23rd March, 2021 - 3:35pm
Super2 Series winner Thomas Randle has cherished an opportunity to give back, taking young cancer patients for a spin around Sandown yesterday.
As part of a ride day following the Sandown SuperSprint, Randle jumped behind the wheel of the #44 Boost Mobile Ford Supercar that he may well drive for Tickford Racing in the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 in October.
Chief among his passengers were 20 young adults from the ONTrac Youth Cancer Centre Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
It’s a cause that hits close to home for Randle, who is in remission from testicular cancer diagnosed in January 2020.
“They’re 15-to-25 year olds who are going through massive challenges, have gone through or are about to go through some big challenges related to cancer, so for me it was a great way to give back to the people at Peter MacCallum,” said the Melbourne-based 24-year-old.
“They were fundamental in treating me over the last 12 or so months through my journey.
“That’s where I had all my chemotherapy done, that’s where my surgeon is based, and the ONTrac programme is really good for young adults and adolescents who are diagnosed with any cancer.
“We just felt it was a great way to give back to them, and I have to thank my parents for helping organise it, to Tickford for making it happen, and also to Castrol who organised a bit of a show bag with Tickford with jumpers and caps and other goodies.
“To top it off [Tickford co-owner] Rusty French gave a generous donation to the ONTrac programme, which was really wonderful to me.
“He’s obviously been a huge supporter of mine for the last six years even through all my challenges, always ringing up asking how I was going through my treatment and surgeries, and it was pretty cool that he then donated to Peter Mac.
“It was just a magical day, it put a big smile on my face and an even bigger smile on everyone else’s.
“They were blown away with that and the hot laps and everything else across the day. It was great to just give back to people who are less fortunate than us, and we ended up with a bunch of new Supercars fans.”
ONTrac at Peter Mac youth engagement officer Anna Gilkison added, “It was a brilliant opportunity for young people who have been through cancer treatment to get together, get out of the hospital, and have just an amazing experience.
“It was a lovely day for everyone and have a really great experience, and that wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of Tickford Racing and the work Thomas and his parents put into bringing it all together.
“It’s really important for young people to feel connected as going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment can feel quite isolating. Experiences and support like this mean the world to our service and most importantly to these young adults.”
It was a positive experience to come from Sandown for Randle, who endured a difficult weekend in S5000 that saw him lose the championship lead.
One round remains in the 2021 VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, at Sydney Motorsport Park across April 30 to May 2.
Randle trails new leader Joey Mawson by 40 points.