April is Autism Awareness Month and what better way to create awareness than to put the spotlight on these two young drivers in South East QLD.
Hayden (12) and Jordan Sell (10) have been Kart Racing for around 4 years and both were diagnosed at a young age with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Autism brings with it many challenges, as well as many positives and the boys have found racing to be an amazing form of therapy. Kart racing is something that they love and have a strong passion for, allowing them to grow and develop in their own unique way.
The boys have taken out podium positions at many events, winning the Warwick Kart Club Championship between them for the previous few years. Most importantly, the boys have collected Presidents Awards and the prestigious Warwick Kart Club Ron Duffield Perpetual Shields for their off-track commitment and sportsmanship. This year, Hayden and Jordan competed in their first round of the Australian Karting Championship and far exceeded their expectations.
Autism is a neurological condition that means a person’s brain is ‘wired’ differently to other people. However, the symptoms vary enormously from person to person.
People with ASD often find it difficult to interact socially and communicate with others. Motorsport has been an amazing opportunity for Hayden and Jordan to interact with like minded racers and has improved their ability to socialise and make connections within their community.
Current rates of Autism in Australia are around one in 100 children aged between 6 and 12 years. Hayden and Jordan share the track with quite a number of drivers on the Autism Spectrum – adults and children alike!
Motorsport has been a special interest area for Hayden since he was very young. He desperately wanted to race karts and has always envisaged a career in motorsport. His over sensitive hearing allows him to hear changes in his race engine long before it can be heard by anybody else. Both Hayden and Jordan have a strong interest in mathematics and science and the engineering side of go kart racing has been brilliant for the boys to be involved in.
Autism can create difficulties in social development, sensory awareness and other areas including muscle strength and processing.
Hayden and Jordan’s self esteem, social skills and ability to speak in public have all improved dramatically since taking up kart racing and the boys have been able to find an area where their Autism helps them to thrive, rather than struggle.
This has certainly been a team effort.
For the past 2 years, Hayden and Jordan have been brand ambassadors for MotiV8 Training, a Motorsport Coaching program that supports their growth in exercise, nutrition, psychology, sponsorship, social media, public relations and media training.
Hayden and Jordan train with Jimmy Chung at Plus Fitness Underwood and at Future Pros Tennis Academy and have seen impressive improvements in their strength and stamina.
Ruiz Plumbing Solutions provide the boys an opportunity to connect with their local community and they continue to support the boys on and off the track.
Shawn McNamara at 9ine5ive Tuning has been working with the boys for over 12 months on driver training and kart tuning. Shawn and the boys have a great working relationship and he has been fantastic at teaching race craft and on track strategies.
Kaos Karting provide invaluable trackside support. Jenny, Larry and Brendan were instrumental in helping the team enter the sport and have been incredibly supportive in teaching the boys parents, Erin and Matt, the basics in kart maintenance and repairs.
Browns Plains Chiropractic have been treating the boys for many years, keeping them healthy to allow better on track performance.
Wainwright Media has done a brilliant job on the boys logo design, team shirts and trailer decals.
Derek Jones at Power Republic builds and maintains the boys race engines and his continual positive attitude is infectious.
Every member of the team provides a critical contribution toward Hayden and Jordan’s success.
Sell Racing currently has partnership opportunities available.
You can follow Hayden and Jordan’s progress on their website www.sellracing.net or get live updates throughout race day on www.facebook.com/haydenjordanracing
Follow the boys on Instagram @SellRacing
If you would like more information about Autism Spectrum Disorders, race over to https://www.autismspectrum.org.au