World’s Only Female Tetraplegic Racing Driver, Inspirational Speaker
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Nathalie McGloin is the first female with a spinal cord injury to be granted a racing licence in the UK. Not only is Nathalie the only disabled driver in her championship she is also the only women. Having broken her neck in a car crash when she was 16, Nathalie is completely paralysed from the chest down, yet she races cars against able bodied men.
Her specially adapted car means she is at no real disadvantage to her fellow racers. Racing a Cayman S in the Porsche Club Championship, Nathalie’s car has been fitted with radial hand controls which operate on a push forward to brake, push down to accelerate mechanism. Nathalie tells the audience how at age 16 a car took nearly everything from her but how incredibly, through racing, a car has given nearly everything she lost back. Nathalie’s relationship with her car is an unlikely love story of defeat, triumph and ultimately freedom.
After only three short years in the sport, in 2018 Nathalie was appointed President of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission which is responsible for the governing body’s global policies on disabled participation in motorsport. Nathalie is not only the youngest FIA Commission President but also one of only two female Presidents and the only FIA member with a spinal cord injury.
Nathalie speaks openly and honestly about the challenges she faced post injury, how she overcame the emotional pain and what drove her to push beyond what she was capable of achieving both physically and mentally. Nathalie’s attitude is simple, if you want something badly enough, you always find a way to achieve it. With her attitude of never giving up she hopes to inspire others to ditch the excuses, really believe in yourself and mark your clear pathway to success.
Speaking to a group of eleven-year-old girls early on in her speaking career, one of them went home and told her dad: “If Nathalie can become a racing driver after breaking her neck in a car crash, I can be anything I want to be.” The innocence of this revelation is exactly how Nathalie hopes to inspire others to react. Nathalie’s motto is Anything Is Possible and after listening to her talk, you’ll believe it is too!