Peyton Yardley gets into position and ready to take home the win at Soapbox Saturday outside the Penticton Centre for Exceptional Learning. Brennan Phillips / Penticton Western News

Professional driver a highlight at South Okanagan soapbox races

The first annual event aimed to bring awareness for autism in an interactive and fun atmosphere

It was a day at the races for a group of kids, thanks to the Penticton Centre for Exceptional Learning.

The centre held the first annual Soapbox Saturday with food, booths set up for a wide range of services for children with Autism or other physical or mental disabilities. The main attraction were the ramps and tires set up for the soapbox races.

“It’s a little of a different spin and a little more fun instead of just an educational event, which are also great,” said Carrie Ferguson, the executive director of the centre and the lead organizer of the day. “We wanted it be a little more fun and hands-on.”

READ ALSO: Racers wanted for Penticton soap box derby

The racers either designed their own cars, or they were able to race one of the two built by the centre for the day’s events. There were plenty of unique and well-built racers, with features ranging from aerodynamic flames cut out of the wood-body, to brakes and suspension systems, to a plastic engine that spun and moved.

“We knew there were going to be a lot of homemade cars coming,” said Ferguson. “I was totally blown away with how great they were. I made one, crashed it, the brake doesn’t work, it’s ridiculous. There were some pretty impressive cars, so it was pretty neat to see.”

READ ALSO: Teaching autistic kids how to excel

The event also had a special guest. Families got a chance to meet with professional racecar driver Austin Riley, the first with Autism to drive competitively. Riley, as well as his father Jason and cousin Shane, were meeting and greeting the little driver’s next to Austin’s green Racing with Autism Nissan. They also brought along with them the Autism Reality Experience trailer, a personal project of Riley’s that gives people an opportunity to experience what it is like to live with Autism.

“I had been working since last April to get Austin Riley here,” said Ferguson. “So the whole event kind of wrapped around him, and we made it car themed. It was a collaborative effort, one of my colleagues came up with the soapbox idea, another for the potato cars. We had the Boyd Autobody ‘car’beque here, and an Autism service provider expo, we even had a car-themed bouncy castle.”

The soapboxes weren’t just for the kids either. There were races for the adults too, and even the special guests got involved, with Riley racing his cousin, before losing in the finals to local Nicole Baker.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ChargerQuest expands its EV charging network into Kelowna

The new stations can be found at Manteo Beach Resort and the Eldorado Hotel

Kelowna resident warns North Glenmore community of active thieves in the area

Two thieves stole a pontoon boat from a residence on May 23

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Penticton Search and Rescue airlifts injured mountain biker near Naramata

The Penticton Fire Department initially took the call and attended to the injured biker.

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

Most Read