Nathalie McGloin was just 16 when she was left paralysed from the chest down following a car crash. Complications in her recovery meant that she needed to stay in hospital for almost a year, but throughout that time her determination not to be defined by her injuries grew with each passing day.
This early show of defiance against adversity was clear for all to see when she returned to school and completed her A Levels just months after being discharged.
With our Asset Management team overseeing the vital funds secured to assist her recovery, Nathalie was able to focus on getting the best from life. This led her to the world of sport and wheelchair rugby but, sadly, another injury brought her dreams of competing at the Paralympics to an end. It was at this point that a friend encouraged her to try motorsport.
After her accident Nathalie was on a ventilator and couldn’t even sit up in bed. Thanks to her incredible determination, hard work and months of rehabilitation she was able to take part in sport again and it felt amazing.
She explained: “Getting behind the wheel on the track was an amazing feeling and it made my injuries a non-event.”
Adrenaline for all
Nathalie quickly fell in love with the fact that motorsport meant she could compete with able-bodied drivers and she became the first women with a spinal injury to be granted a race licence in the UK. She currently races a hand-controlled Cayman S in the Porsche Club Championship.
Nathalie sees her safety as of paramount importance and has done from the moment she had to prove she could exit the car unaided in under 30 seconds to get her licence.
Away from competing, Nathalie set up the Spinal Track charity to give disabled drivers a chance to experience life on the track and also got involved in Dare to be Different which promotes women in motorsport.
Her work led to her being asked to present a trophy at the British Grand Prix, the first disabled person to do so. However, even this didn’t prepare her for an unforgettable moment in 2017 when she was asked to become the president of the FIA’s Accessibility and Disability Commission. The organisation is focused on improving accessibility in motorsport, while also ensuring those with disabilities can follow Nathalie’s lead and compete safely.
She said: “I was lost for words when I was asked about the role but I was delighted to take it up.
“Motorsport is one of the few sports where disabled people can compete effectively against able-bodied rivals and we really feel it is important to celebrative that inclusiveness.
“Being both a woman and a wheelchair user, I think I’m an example of how motorsport really can offer a level-playing field. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work with the FIA so far and am hopeful of spreading this message far and wide for years to come.”
To find out more about Nathalie’s charity visit
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