Sport15th March 2014

Deaf Bambino Championship Karter makes his debut

6 years old Caleb is Deaf, wears Cochlear Implants and has just completed the first round of his racing championship

by Peter Hughes - Sports Writer

Six year old Caleb McDuff made his competitive motorsport debut last weekend when he took the long trip from his South Wales home to Wombwell Karting Circuit in South Yorkshire for the opening round of the 2014 Bambino Kart Club tour.

Despite many of the other drivers being in their second year of competition, it was an impressive first appearance for Caleb as he set a faster time every time he went out, shaving over 5 seconds off his lap time through the course of the day.

“The main thing is he really enjoyed it as well.”, said dad Ian afterwards, “ I was a bit concerned that once we actually got to the race day and there were a lot of people, he might back out a little bit but, in all fairness, he took to it really well.”

Indeed, it seems that how many people are watching is irrelevant to Caleb as Ian explained, “Once he takes his processors off and all the sound is gone, he seems to be in his own little world then. Once he puts his crash helmet on he won’t even speak to you. He will use total sign language. He won’t make any noise; he’s like a different person once he puts his helmet on.”

Ian was also delighted by the welcome they received from the championship organisers, circuit staff and other parents at the event while Caleb also managed to make some new friends, “Most children came up and made themselves known to him. They did a really good job of including Caleb as much as he wanted to be included in their games and so on.”

It seems, according to his Dad, that it wasn’t just the youngsters that Caleb was intent on winning over, “Even the girls on the burger van were saying how confident, and maybe cheeky, he was. He went down to the burger van and said ‘good morning, beautiful ladies’ and put his order for his burger in. That’s not like him; usually he’s shy and reserved.”

Caleb’s next event is much closer to home when the Bambinos compete at Llandow Kart Circuit in the Vale of Glamorgan on Easter Sunday, and Ian says he doesn’t think anything would stop Caleb from being there, “At the end of the day they gave everyone involved a medal and that really inspired him. He wants more medals.”

Ian also thinks that Caleb gained far more than a medal from his first appearance, explaining, “He showed a lot of confidence over the weekend and he learned to interact more with people.”

And Caleb’s thoughts on the experience? “It was great, I want to do it again.”

Article by Peter Hughes - Sports Writer

posted in Deaf Sport / Sport

15th March 2014