DRIVE AND THRIVE AT THE CLARKSON HAMMOND AND MAY LIVE FESTIVAL
This year, instead of hosting our own Drive and Thrive exhibition, the Drive and Thrive team chose to have a presence at the Clarkson, Hammond and May Live Festival (previously branded the Top Gear Festival) which was held from 12 – 14 June 2015 at the Coca Cola Dome, Northgate. We hoped to create awareness about driving with a disability and how this gives back freedom and independence. But we also wanted to demonstrate that life does not come to an end if you have a disability! In the midst of the fast cars, glitz, glamour, and stunts, we also carried a strong road safety reminder!
Thanks to Swissport, the CHML organisers and our stand partners, iDes Driving Academy, we were able to have two stands at the event. Our indoor stand had an information wall about what companies and NGO’s are supporting and assisting people with disabilities, with the focus being on driving. The adapted VW Caddy, showing the Shoprider lowered floor conversion and Turny Seat, caught many eyes. With the Chairman Industries hand control simulator; we were able to give people the opportunity to experience driving with a hand control.
We ran a reaction speed test competition with a ‘Top Gear style’ results board. Uber joined in the fun and each person that did the reaction speed test was given a R200 Uber voucher. This was a huge draw card making our stand one of the busiest stands in the indoor exhibition hall. In total we had approximately 500 people doing the test over the 3 days, but there was a constant queue of people waiting for a turn. Although we made the reaction speed test a fun experience and we used it to draw in the crowds, we also used it to try to get people thinking about how reaction times relate to driving, following distances, awareness of the surrounding, etc.; and how people who have a slower reaction speed need to adapt their driving style to accommodate this.
Our outdoor stand focused on fun adaptive vehicles. The Adaptive Sports Fund (ASF) had their newly adapted go-kart on display. This go-kart was purpose built by 4StrokeWorkshop and has no brake and accelerator pedals, but has these neatly fitted onto hand controls behind the steering wheel. It is available through the ASF to allow people with a disability the opportunity to try out go-karting or to race competitively. (www.adaptivesportsfund.org)
Bennie Erasmus, with his ‘Kruppel 4×4’ rock crawler, astounded and inspired people when they heard his story of how he broke his neck when his Land Rover rolled. From his wheelchair he and his father re-built his written-off Landrover and he now competes with his quadriplegic navigator, Okker Anker, in extreme 4×4 competitions.
The CanAm Kommander side by side was another adapted vehicle with a heart-warming and inspiring story of quadriplegic Phil Case and how he has ridden the Quads4Quads ride from Johannesburg to Durban.
We used the adapted vehicles to create awareness around the possibilities of driving and the fact that people with disabilities are still able to live a full and active life. Once our guests were saturated with inspirational stories, they were encouraged to test the QuadPara Association’s seatbelt convincer along with a gentle reminder of how quickly one’s life can change through not wearing a seatbelt or texting while driving.
This stand had a constant flow of people coming past and we received very positive responses from everyone, with most people expressing their amazement at what the possibilities were for people with disabilities as they had been completely unaware of these options.
We would like to thank our sponsors who made this awareness possible:
Swissport, iDes Driving Academy, UBER, Shoprider, CE Mobility, Rolling Rehab, ExpandaSign, van Niekerk Attorneys, S Vos & Associates Industrial Psychologists.
Those who were privileged to watch the CHML show were thoroughly entertained by the trio and their creative antics along with Ken Block’s driving skills. The show told their interpretation of ‘what now’ after Jeremy threw his famous punch. Zuma and his beloved Nkandla came under fire, with Jeremy convinced that he also needs a ‘Fire Pool’ – not that he knows what it is. They also agreed that Zuma needs a Ferrari which he can surely claim from our tax money as a fire engine since it is red!