Meet the official keen to make motorsport accessible to all

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 02/08/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

The NTI Townsville 500 marked Cristian Lenske’s eighth year as an official for the Repco Supercars Championship.

Lenske is one of the dedicated team that welcomes and assists fans on the Accessible Platform at Townsville events.

Understanding the challenges facing disabled patrons, being in a wheelchair since he was 14, Lenske gives his time to ensure fans of all abilities can enjoy live motorsport.

Like many officials, his love for motorsport began as a spectator before deciding to get involved himself.

The 46-year-old has attended every Supercars event in Townsville since it began visiting North Queensland. He only missed out in 2020, due to the coronavirus-impacted season.

Lenske began volunteering in 2013, encouraging his mother to join the following year, with the duo manning the Accessible Platform for the past seven years.

“I’ve been to the Townsville events since their inception, and the first four years I went as a spectator,” Lenske told Supercars.com.

“I asked at the stand one year about how to volunteer, as I thought I could do that particular job.

“Every year I have been looking after that stand, I’ve done it for eight years and my mum has done it for seven.

“I came home from the event and my mum said she would be interested.

“So, I took a video of the noises and what you see at the race, I put it on my computer and turned it up as loud as I could to show mum how noisy it is.

“Mum said it would be ok and the rest is history, we have done it together since then.”

Lenske recently volunteered for the first event of the Townsville doubleheader last month but was unavailable to attend the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint, due to competing in the Qld State Multi Disability Lawn Bowls Championships.

The Gympie-local finished fourth in the pairs and second in the singles competition.

Understanding the importance of sport for both physical and mental health, Lenske is passionate about making sport accessible to all.

“I love sport in general and motorsport,” Lenske said.

“It’s important for disabled people to know they can attend events and enjoy it too.”

“We see the same faces each year and meet new people, and by welcoming people to the disability access stand, I’ve got to meet the same people as well and meet up with them each year.”

Travelling from Gympie for the past seven years to volunteer, Lenske uses the opportunity to a holiday in North Queensland.

Eager to expand his official duties, he also volunteers at local rally events in Brisbane.

“I got my license to keep volunteering at Townsville,” said Lenske.

“I hope when work commitments permit, I would like to do other events.

“I encourage people of all abilities to get involved with volunteering, I have made friends and witness some amazing moments.”

 If you are interested in being a marshal or a volunteer at a Supercars event, please visit https://www.supercars.com/event-race-officials/apply-now/.

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