K1 Speed Canada Hosts Inaugural Sensory-Friendly Karting Event

go-carting Canada

Enterprise Canada

Release Date

Monday, April 15, 2024


K1 Speed Canada proudly announces the successful hosting of the inaugural Sensory Friendly Karting event in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada and Racing with Autism.

Held at K1 Speed Mississauga, the event aimed to provide a unique and inclusive karting experience for individuals with sensory sensitivities, in line with Autism Awareness Month.

“One of our core values at K1 Speed Canada is inclusivity, and we are thrilled to have partnered with Autism Speaks Canada and Racing with Autism to create a sensory-friendly karting experience,” says Kevin Abela, General Manager of K1 Speed Mississauga. “It was incredibly touching to see participants of all ages and abilities enjoy the thrill of karting in a setting tailored to their sensory needs.”

The event, held on March 24th, saw a remarkable turnout as families and individuals with neuro-diverse conditions participated in a sensory-friendly karting experience.

Recognizing the challenges faced by individuals with sensory sensitivities, K1 Speed Canada, in collaboration with Autism Speaks Canada, took proactive measures to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable environment for all participants.

Capacity was reduced to minimize sensory overload, and the volume of music was lowered to create a quieter atmosphere. Staff members also underwent special training provided by Autism Speaks Canada to better understand and support individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other sensory sensitives.

Sensory and quiet rooms were also available, offering participants a space to take a break and recharge in a calm and soothing environment.

“The K1 Speed team was fantastic,” says Andrea Smith, a parent of one of the participants. “Their dedication and commitment to ensuring not only the safety of the drivers but their unwavering compassion for their needs is immeasurable.”

During the event, K1 Speed Canada reaffirmed its commitment to inclusivity by donating $2,000 to Autism Speaks Canada, emphasizing the goal of ensuring karting is accessible to all.

Moreover, K1 Speed Canada proudly sponsored Austin Riley, Canada’s first autistic race car driver and the founder of Racing with Autism. The Riley family was actively involved and played a pivotal role throughout the event.

“This has always been a dream of mine, and to see that dream come to reality was a very emotional moment for me,” says Jason Riley, Austin’s father. “One of my favourite parts of the event was seeing the joy and pride on parents’ faces as they watched their children whizz by, regardless of their speed. It’s the same joy and pride I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing for the last 16 years with Autism.”

While no official plans have been made, all involved parties expressed interest in organizing similar events in the future, furthering the mission of inclusivity and support within the racing community.

For the latest updates and additional information about the next event, stay tuned to K1 Speed Canada’s website and Instagram.

About K1 Speed:
K1 Speed has been the leading global provider of indoor go-kart racing experiences since 2003, boasting a vast network of more than 74 locations across the world. This includes three well-established venues in Toronto, Mississauga and Cambridge.

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