Jordan Sell Racing waves the chequered flag for Autism Awareness Month.
Jordan Sell is 10 years old and with his brother Hayden (12), they have been involved in Kart Racing for around four years.
Both racers were diagnosed at a young age with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
April is Autism Awareness Month and Jordan recognises that his team is more aware than most.
“Autism brings with it many challenges, as well as many positives and the boys have found racing to be an amazing form of therapy” their mum, Erin, told KartSportNews.
“Kart racing is something that they love and have a strong passion for, allowing them to grow and develop in their own unique way.”
Jordan has taken out podium positions at many events, standing on the podium at the Warwick Kart Club Championship for the past 2 years. Most importantly, Jordan has also collected a President’s Award and the prestigious Warwick Kart Club Ron Duffield Perpetual Shield for his off-track commitment and sportsmanship.
This year Jordan moved up to the Cadet 12 age group and 3 weeks later, competed in his first round of the Australian Kart Championship as one of the youngest drivers on track in that category. Jordan exceeded his goals and finished 52nd in a huge field of 71 drivers.
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 with their community.
“When he is not racing, you can find Jordan in the grandstand cheering on his friends – young and young at heart.”
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!
Erin said motorsport has been a special interest area for Jordan since he was very young.
“When his older brother begged to race karts Jordan was only 6 and came along for the ride. He quickly realised that he wanted to race karts and is planning a career in motorsport.”
Jordan, a current Grade 5 student at Greenbank State School, has a strong interest in mathematics and science. “The engineering side of kart racing has been brilliant for him to be involved in”.
Autism can create difficulties in social development, sensory awareness and other areas including muscle strength and processing.
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.
Jordan says he loves racing because “it is better than other sports; you get to be with other kids but you still get to make your own decisions”.
This growth has certainly been a team effort.
For the past 2 years, Jordan and Hayden 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.
Jordan and Hayden 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 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 and Australian Dental Care Centre 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.