Fly high Champ!
We recently caught up with Wheelchair Grand Prix (WGP) founder and managing director, Christopher Quinlan who opened up about the beginnings of a movement taking the disability sector by storm. Named the most visible organisation in the sector of 2017, WGP is an organisation who’s goal it is to breakdown any misconceptions society has around the capabilities of people living with a disability. WGP provides a mainstream platform for people with disabilities to showcase not only their skills and talents, but also their unwavering determination and perserverance.
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Assisting people with disabilities, WGP provides a platform to experience all the thrills, spills, and speed of motorsport to people previously unable to do so – through power wheelchair racing. Founded in 2013, professional go kart racer and disability sector entrepreneur, Christopher Quinlan has grown the platform set to host events across 3 continents by the end of 2017. Recently, Quinlan released an emotional tribute to Dean Crane, a man with Muscular Dystrophy on what would have been his 24th birthday, who Quinlan attributes as the reason he started it all, and the driving force behind the organisations vision, mission and values.
The touching tribute tells a familiar story to those involved in the disability sector - having a never give up attitude, and never letting disability prevent them from getting the most out of life.
Chris says, “We started this journey over 5 years ago because of this guy, Dean Crane. Dean and I always used to talk about motorsports and he said "Dude I wish I could do something like that" 5 years later, and everything we're doing started because of those 9 words.
WGP is throughout Australia, and have plans to be on 3 continents by the end of the year. Providing Motorsport opportunities to people with disabilities in the exact same way as any other Motorsport all across the world as a direct result of Dean's passion. Dean used to be at his local track numerous times a week, and would practice for hours on end - then he'd make us review the hours and hours of go-pro footage to find where he could continue improving. Dean was absolutely fearless and let nothing stand in his way. No matter his goals he achieved them. On the track, Dean was fierce, dedicated and passionate. Off the track, Dean was the best man I've ever met. A gentlemen who would go to the ends of the earth for all those around him.
As an organisation, our values are those of what Dean taught us. Be fierce, never accept the idea that you can't do something, never waiver from what you want to achieve, do everything you can with every ounce of your being, and shoot for the stars, because with enough hard work, you'll get there. Personally, Dean taught me so much and allowed me to grow exponentially as an individual. I wouldn't be half the person I am today without the input he had in my growth.
It was recently Dean's birthday and Chris used the opportunity to send a message to his friend:
''Happy birthday Dean, we wish you were around to see all we've achieved because of you, and I hope you're proud of the legacy you created. All the difference we've made in so many lives is because of what you showed us. We'll keep going and make sure we take WGP everywhere, and continue to impact as many lives as possible. Fly high, Champ "