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Paralympic champion endorses new Wheelchair 4km race at the 2024 Gold Coast Marathon presented by ASICS

The Gold Coast Marathon presented by ASICS will boast one more very special race this year with a Wheelchair 4km event scheduled for Saturday 6 July 2024.

Mentor4me CEO, Garth Plank who proposed the race to be included in the weekend program said the race was an opportunity for people with a disability to try wheelchair racing.

“You don’t have to use a wheelchair in day-to-day life, you may have mobility challenges, have cerebral palsy or be an amputee and you can compete in wheelchair racing.

“Many people are eligible to race in a racing chair and don’t even realise it.

“It’s a fun sport and the common answer to why people love the sport is the welcoming community and you get to go fast!”

Mr Plank said the Ignition Wheelchair and Para Athletics Squad, based at Griffith University Gold Coast have three new racing wheelchairs available for people over six years of age to try out and train in ahead of the Gold Coast Marathon race weekend.

“It is essential people who want to enter any wheelchair race experience training in a racing chair prior to the event to learn the technique and skills needed.

“This might just be that opportunity someone needs to fall in love with the sport of wheelchair racing and pursue it further – but you need to give it a go first,” Mr Plank said.

NSW Institute of Sport National Coach, Wheelchair Track and Road and multiple world and paralympic champion wheelchair racer, Louise Sauvage OAM said it is fantastic to see another wheelchair race added to the program for the Gold Coast Marathon.

“To have the options of a full marathon, 10km and now a 4km event is brilliant.

“The 4km is another steppingstone for juniors and developing wheelchair racing athletes to compete on a wonderful flat course in an integrated environment. This initiative closes the gap for these athletes to then aim for a 10km and one day a full marathon.

“The Gold Coast Marathon is a favourite among wheelchair racing athletes for its course, weather and timing on the calendar.

“To have the support of the Gold Coast Marathon for the future of wheelchair road racing in Australia is phenomenal,” Ms Sauvage said.
Events Management Queensland CEO Ben Mannion said the 4km Wheelchair race was an exciting addition to the program.

“The opportunity of introducing people to the sport at a professional and sanctioned event is an initiative we haven’t extended before, and we sincerely hope it might be the catalyst some people need to pursue wheelchair racing as their sport. “

Day chairs and hand-cycles will not be permitted under World Athletics rules which stipulate that as an athletics event participants can only use racing wheelchairs. The event will be run under Athletics Australia, World Para Athletics and World Athletics rules.

The Gold Coast Marathon presented by ASICS and the Gold Coast Half Marathon are currently at capacity however there is still opportunity to be a part of the action and enter the CPL Wheelchair Marathon and 10km Wheelchair event, the Southern Cross University 10km Run, Gold Coast Airport 5km Run, the Gold Coast Bulletin 2km or 4km Junior Dash or the 4km Wheelchair race.

Events Management Queensland proudly delivers the annual Gold Coast Marathon, Toowoomba Marathon and the biennial Pan Pacific Masters Games and is proudly supported by Experience Gold Coast and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland.
Events Management Queensland acknowledges and pays respect to the Kombumerri people of the Yugambeh language region, the Saltwater People of the Gold Coast, as the traditional owners of the lands and waters upon which we invite and welcome participants from across the globe to experience our events.

Posted in News.